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Fridays Academy: Education, Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

Like every Friday, from Raj Nallari and Breda Griffith's lecture notes on Economic Policies for Poverty Reduction.


Educational attainment has a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction. The microeconomic literature has also established a clear relationship between educational attainment and individual income. Educational attainment is positively linked with technological adaptation, innovation, and increased productivity, generating positive spin-off and growth effects for the economy. Non-economic factors also posit a positive role for education: it is a basic human development capability.  Yet for many of the world’s poor, access to education remains out of reach. Improvements have taken place in school attainment but many challenges remain.


Achieving universal primary education (UPE) by 2015 is a Millennium Development Goal.  The failure to achieve UPE and reduced illiteracy rates by 2000 that was agreed by the global community at the World Conference on Education for all at Jomtien, Thailand, was again adopted by 180 nations at the World Education Forum at Dakar in 2000.  Education helps in the achievement of all of the other Millennium Development Goals such as poverty reduction, gender equity, child and maternal health, lower HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases, and environmental stability. 


In upcoming weeks we will examine the progress being made by developing economies in achieving educational attainment, chiefly at the primary level and the challenges that confront these economies.  We will also examine the initiatives aimed at achieving universal education and in particular universal primary completion, as well as the financial resources needed at the domestic and international donor level, the main challenge facing low income countries today.


I am sincerely grateful for the priviledge to share my views with regards to achieving UPE before 2015. After attending the DTA course, I became aware of the responsibility of making MDG2 a reality.I went to several schools in my community to teach about the MDGs and to seek ways to combating the many challenges faced if we must make a difference before 2015. In all, I found out that aside from isssues of poverty, gender inequality and other MDG's, the mentality of the people whom we so dearly desire to creatively affect, needs to change. People especially children have lost their belief in the educational sysytem of today because it doesn't reflect their world. A lot of people paraded as their "mentors" are mostly uneducated people who have by talent or skill achieved prominence in their societies. The parents who give birth to too many children they cant take care of are posing a challenge also. the responsibility of sending their kids to school, are a burden to them so their children are forced into hard labor or asked to hawk goods on the streets to make up for their parents income. In schools where children are asked to bring toiletries,cutlasses and brooms before admittance to classes, school uniforms are not affordable,Teachers are not well paid, there are no good classrooms,children are asked to buy text books that are more expensive than even the school fees, some schools pass children on to the next class even when they fail in their exams and we can go on and on. It is possible to achieve the millenium Development goals if we can begin to work on the mentality of people. If school curriculums can be changed to make learning a thing of pleasure rather than pain, I believe we can begin to make progress. We can talk all we can, produce paper and hold conferences about we can achieve the mdg's but who has a stake in our concern.How much are the people we desire to see changed involved in the whole process? creatively and wisely transforming peoples Albert N Davids The New Creative development Initiative of Nigeria

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