‘Two more years of high school could cut poverty in half’

Mark Baartman, centre, helps Thubelihle High School pupils with their mathematics File picture: Fredlin Adriaan

World poverty could be cut in half if all adults completed high school.

Nearly 60 million people could escape poverty if all adults had just two more years of schooling, according to Unesco’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.

“If all adults completed secondary education‚ 420 million [people] could be lifted out of poverty‚ reducing the total number of poor people by more than half globally and by almost two-thirds in subSaharan Africa and South Asia‚” report spokesman Kate Redman said.

She said studies showed education had direct and indirect impacts on economic growth and poverty.

“Education provides skills that boost employment opportunities and incomes‚ while helping to protect people from socioeconomic vulnerabilities,” she said.

However‚ education’s potential to eradicate poverty will have no impact if the high school dropout rates continue to climb.

“The new Unesco Institute for Statistics data show that there has been virtually no progress in reducing out-ofschool rates in recent years‚” Redman said.

Globally‚ 9% of all children of primary school age are still denied their right to education‚ with rates reaching 16% and 37% for youth of lower and upper secondary ages.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest out-of-school rates.

“More than half of all youth between the ages of 15 and 17 are not in school‚” Redman said.


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