Advancing Educational Knowledge in Africa

Global Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

12 May 2017

The economy sits at the core of every country. Its productivity can determine the strength of the country within different aspects and how its citizens live on a day-to-day basis. It mechanises the channels and processes to keep a country going, but can be fallible and is easily influenced by external forces.

Here at EduWeek we believe that education sits at the epicentre of any economy. Some would consider that the structure of this sector directly affects the performance of the economy itself.

If you think about it, the scholar goes on to learn basic literacy and numeracy skills at a primary level, to read and write. This naturally progresses to a secondary level to hone in on their learning skills and given complex assignments to equip them with the necessary knowledge. This persists right into a tertiary level where they had chosen a career path, based on the practical application of their knowledge throughout their schooling career.

Now they are faced with entering the working force into a sector, but how many are efficiently equipped with making this crucial choice.

Equipping children does not only ensure that they grow up to become productive members of society with decent jobs. This chain effect will have a drastic effect on reducing poverty. An average increase of only one additional year of a population’s education increases the annual per capita GDP growth.

The deliverance of education alone is not enough to ensure economic growth. The quality of education plays a vital role in the sustained growth of an economy. We have to adapt and implement innovative and transformative pedagogies to educate children in our ever advancing society. Ultimately the deliverance of this quality education would strengthen the economy, but it would also empower children to make informed decisions in their lives and that of their families.

According to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Sustainable Development Begins with Education report,

“Improvements in education quality, approximated by scores in learning achievement surveys, have been linked to increases in per capita income growth rates. This suggests that, where the quality of education is low, the skills base of the economy cannot become an engine of growth.”

Some studies show that if you raise annual test scores on a school level, this would have a direct result on the annual per capita growth rate in third world countries. Whatever the outcomes of these studies in the future, one thing remains – education is the key to a healthy economy.

Every child should have the opportunity not only to go to school but to acquire the knowledge and skills she needs to lead a healthy, productive life, care for herself and her family, and become an empowered citizen. At the national level, countries need workforces with the skills and competencies required to keep farms and factories producing, create jobs, fuel innovation and competitiveness, and drive economic growth that benefits everyone.

— DR. JIM YONG KIM, President of the World Bank Group

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