Poverty is a lack of education

For the children of the developed countries, the sound track of the month of September is the back pack zippers, the opening and closing of the tin pencil holders, the noise of the pencil sharpeners, the squeak of the chalk on the blackboard, the recreation bell and many other sounds related to going "back to school". However, for almost 80 million children who currently do not attend school, September still sounds like hunger, street or even stone cutting or sewing machines.

In general, the lack of economic resources and - more so in the case of girls- ideological issues prevent minors under 15 going to school. This is why, in Entreculturas we say that poverty is a lack of education; a lack of education for those, who because they are poor, do not have the opportunity of going to school and on the other hand, the lack of education for those who consent to the misery of a considerable part of the planet.

According to the Global Campaign for Education, of which Entreculturas is a member, during the past decade, certain hopeful progress has been made: in the past 5 years, an estimated 40 million more children go to school. This is due to several reasons such as the diminishing of school fares in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi or the visible increase of investment in education in Latin America. Likewise it is important to underline that the Official Development Aid has tripled since the year 2000.


"Education is not a way to escape poverty, it is a way to fight it"

Julius Nyerere

However, in spite of the progress in education worldwide, there is still a long way to go in order to reach basic universal quality education by 2015, according to the Dakar Commitments (Senegal), seven years ago. As we have pointed out, there are almost 80 million children who, as of today, do not go to school, out of which 55% are girls. Some 23 countries run the risk of not achieving universal primary education by 2015 since their net school enrolment numbers are decreasing. On the other hand, 89 countries still charge enrolment fares that are an important obstacle for poor families.

Education allows us to know the world and change it so that we may all live with dignity, use our rights and participate actively in the building of a more equal and solidarity society. Because we cannot allow so many people to live in the darkness of illiteracy and because we believe that education is the most efficient tool to fight poverty. Raise your voice!