Education: The Most Powerful Investment In Our Future

More than two decades of experience in development and crisis response show me how education can make a long-lasting difference in children’s lives. But education’s not just good for children, it’s good for nations. Buying education isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s smart economics. Today at the World Economic Discussion board meeting in Davos That’s the discussion I offered to global market leaders.

Education can put people on a path towards good health, employment and empowerment. It can benefit to build more peaceful societies. As well as the benefits of ladies’ education extends to their own children who tend to be healthier and more educated because their moms went to school. Evidence demonstrates, typically, each additional year of education increases a person’s income by 10 per cent and improves a country’s GDP by 18 per cent.

Some researchers calculate that if every child discovered to read, around 170 million fewer people would reside in poverty. Yet, there’s an education problem. At this time, in 2015, more than 120 million children are out of college. And worse, we face a learning turmoil. On top of that, the children who most benefit from an education are those most refused it through no mistake of their own. Perhaps their own families are poor.

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Perhaps they live with disabilities and cannot access the school. They reside in remote areas or belong to nomadic communities Perhaps. More than half of the young children who don’t go to school live in conflict-affected countries. This is especially sad. Education can provide them safety and the opportunity to learn skills that will help these heal wounds and rebuild their societies.

And the task is growing. By 2030, over 600 million more children shall have to be enrolled in school to accomplish basic education for those. So, what do we have to do to obtain additional children in school and learning? These issues, and more, are addressed in a fresh UNICEF report: The Investment Case for Education and Equity, today which I launched. First, we should invest more in education.

26 billion more to get children in school and learning. Second, we should invest better: in learning; growing preschool; abolishing college fees; improving learning assessment;, and being more accountable to neighborhoods for education results. And third, we should make investments more equitably. So the small children who are most in need have access to quality learning.

Consider this: typically, in low-income countries, about 50 % of all public education resources are allocated to the 10% of students that are most educated. Resources to the wealthiest quintile of children are up to 18 times bigger than those to the poorest quintile. That’s wrong. We cannot, we should not, ignore this injustice.

This knowledge must be an impetus for changing just how we finance global education. The Investment Case for Education and Equity calls for immediate action. There is no time to reduce. Educated children are in the heart of healthy, prosperous, and productive societies. If this is the future we want tomorrow, we must invest today.