Education – A Key to Break the Cycle of Poverty
In economics and sociology, the cycle of poverty is a social phenomenon whereby poverty-stricken individuals exhibit a tendency to remain poor throughout their lifespan and in many cases across generations. This is because the poor cannot afford education, and the illiterate cannot hope to earn enough to overcome poverty. The illiterate are more likely to remain poor, and the poor are more likely to be illiterate and in many cases unskilled. And as always, the worst sufferers in this trans-generational poverty are the children.
Studies show that in developing countries like Indonesia, children are often exploited in the areas of domestic service, agricultural work and sometimes commercial sex work. Children of poor families, who have no access to quality education, drop out of school and enter the workforce at a young age.
Illiteracy and Poverty
Even if schooling is free, uniforms, school supplies and transport are often beyond the means of a poor family. In such cases, if a family has more than one school-going child, it may decide to pull out one or more of its children from school. Unfortunately, in many such cases it is the girl child who loses the opportunity for education. Thus, poverty is both a cause and a result of illiteracy.
The role of education, along with other social sectors, in poverty eradication is crucial. A country is unsuccessful if it has not educated its people. Not only is education important in reducing poverty, it is also a key to wealth creation.
Lack of education and poverty in Indonesia
Indonesia has many indigenous tribes who are dependent on farming as their means of subsistence. For children who live in remote areas, the only option is to continue working the farm – if their parents have one. The farm will be split up amongst all the children so generation after generation, the farm holdings get smaller and smaller. These children need training for vocations, professional jobs, etc. so they can get a job in the city. Sometimes these trained children may return to their village to help train others.
Countries need to adopt systemic changes to ensure good quality education for all children. Individual developing countries like Indonesia are attempting to design their education systems to cater for the diverse needs of children and to provide additional support outside academic classes.
Economic and social benefits of education
Integration of school education with the economic activities of a community is one way in which education can lead to wealth creation. School education that helps children to improve traditional trade skills of the village alongside other curricular content ensures their future employability and contribution to the economic well being of the whole community.
Many non-profit organizations like Mustard Seed Canada
support the initiatives taken by the Indonesian Government by building schools in remote areas and providing quality teacher training facilities. Successful experiences which combine school education with health care and income generating activities provide long term benefits. These efforts aim to break the cycle of poverty in developing nations like Indonesia.
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