Good Argumentative Essay About Education And Poverty:

Type of paper: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Education, Children, Family, Students, United Nations, School, People, Social Issues

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/14

The Golden Ticket of Education

Education is a gift, according to Nicholas Kristof, and there is no end to this truth when considering impoverished nations. In western culture, education is taken for granted, almost as a right. In this way, people in the west seem to overlook the value, possibility, and opportunity it affords them. Those in impoverished nations have a very different view of education. Many believe it is the answer to a better life. Education is to be strived for, sometimes at any cost as Malala Yousufzai showed the world when she stood up for education and was shot in the head by the Taliban (“Malala”). However, education is a privilege of the rich, and without the necessary resources (usually in the form of finances), education is often impossible. Yet, education should be a human right, and it should be available to impoverished nations just as much as anywhere else in the world. To this end, those who can donate or share their resources in hopes of bringing education that much closer to people and nations without the means have a responsibility to do so. It starts with the individual.
In Western culture, school is part of daily routine for children of four years of age, sometimes even younger. Learning and education, in fact, take up a great deal of the day as well as a great deal of time during adolescence. Along with extracurriculars, it might be argued that education is the primary purpose of a youth’s life. This lasts until at least 18 years of age, and often well into the 20s. Why? Education is a promise for a future, a positive future and one with financial security and societal contribution. It affords purpose to children and young adults, and it provides them with the necessary skills and resources needed to survive and to thrive in the society they were born into. UNICEF explains, “They are being denied their basic human right to education, with far-reaching consequences: Without it, their future opportunities are dramatically limited. If schooling unlocks the gate to a bright and successful future, a childhood bereft of education erects nearly insurmountable barriers” (“Basic Education”). It is these barriers that education breaks down, but this is oversimplifying a very complex issue. The important thing to note is that education is perhaps the most important factor in having a bright future.
This isn’t to be understood purely in the metaphorical sense. According to United Nations Girls Education Initiative, “a child born to a mother who can read is 50 per cent more likely to survive past the age of five, and in sub-Saharan Africa an estimated 1.8 million children’s lives could have been saved in 2008 if their mothers had a secondary education at least.” These statistics are staggering and sobering. This puts a real number on the value of education. The article goes on to say that, “171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills” (“Investing in Education”). The point is made. Education is invaluable.
In western culture, school is often free to the public, but that isn’t necessarily cross-cultural or international. In fact, according to UNICEF, “of an estimated 101 million children not in school, more than half are girls” (“Basic Education”). This reveals another struggle that faces education. Not only does socioeconomic status determine who can get an education, but gender also impacts this. But to tackle all of these restricting factors at once is to overwhelm a manageable issue. That being the case, understanding the role that poverty plays in education is essential in determining a solution. According to Children International, “Education plays the central role in escaping generational poverty. It’s been estimated that for every year a child stays in school, their future earning potential increases by 10-20 percent. Unfortunately, many families in poverty consider education a luxury and even those who value it can find it difficult to afford.” It should be mentioned that people in impoverished nations do understand the value of education, but that matters very little when it requires all of one’s resources just to survive. The fact is that education does cost money. Children International breaks expenses down into categories: uniforms, supplies, financial support like school fees and transport, libraries, study aids, computer centers, scholarships, and community literacy which involves reading resources. This list is not comprehensive, but it does list much of the essentials and it paints a good picture of just what a good education requires.
However, stressing the amount of necessary resources that education demands is not done to scare anyone away. Instead, it is to stress the dire need of even the smallest donation because lack of education is still a very real issue. It is not all bad though. In fact, there has been some tremendous progress over the past few years. The United Nations Girls Education Initiative explains that “early all children in Tanzania attend primary school, compared to less than half at the beginning of the decade. India, with about 5.6 million children out of school in 2008, is expected to bring down this number to about 750,000 by 2015” (“Investing in Education”). This is right around the corner, and these statistics should be encouraging that people are making a different through monetary and time investments.
So how can people lend a helping hand? How can one single individual make a difference? Fortunately, there are funds and charities out there that take donations in an effort to provide education to all the underprivileged. For example, there are many different organizations that take donations like Children International and UNICEF. There are initiatives being started to rebuild communities and schools like the ‘Go to School’ campaign launched by UNICEF in Southern Sudan. Then there are programs like HELP, the Haitian Educational and Leadership Program, that was started by a young American teaching in Haiti. Through the generosity and leadership of this one individual, he has helped send “hundreds of young men and women to Haitian universities” (Kristof). One individual can make a huge difference, and the story of Nikenson Romage and Conor Bohan is noteworthy. Since Haiti “remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere” (Kristof), it is was in dire need of a hero like Conor Bohan who saw a problem and put forth everything he could in order to change the life of Nikenson Romage by helping to fund his college tuition. This was just the beginning though. Now the organization does much more: “HELP scours the country for brilliant but impoverished high school graduates. Once selected, the students also get coaching in English, computer use, and leadership and public service. The aim is to nurture an elite corps of change-makers to build up the country” (Kristof). This is perhaps the most awe-inspiring because often those who live in impoverished nations can only thrive outside of their home country, but HELP is trying to combat that issue of dispersal as well. In this way, education helps not only the youth, but the community.
The facts are out there: education is the golden ticket to opportunity and quite literally life in some places. Education has been proven to give children from impoverished nations a fighting chance. People all over the world are literally fighting for an education, but for those in the western world, it takes much less effort. In fact, it is as simple as clicking the buttons on the keyboard. Even though it may seem like an insurmountable task when the concept of global education for all is considered, but it works on a much smaller scale. It works with one single individual giving the time and money they can afford to a cause he or she believes in. This individual could be anyone of us. The benefits, well, they are unforeseen, but those benefits exist in abundance, especially for those children who deserve the chance of an education.

Works Cited

“Basic Education and Gender Equality.” UNICEF. Unicef.org, 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.
“How We Help Fight Poverty with Education.” Children International. 2015. Web. 4 Feb. 2015.
“Investing in education will help advance global anti-poverty targets – UN.” UN News Centre. 23 Sept. 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.
Kristof, Nicholas. "The Gift of Education." The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. 
“Malala, 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot by Taliban, can recover, UK doctors say.” NBCNews.com, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2015.

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