“Progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education

“Progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.”
–John F. Kennedy
Education is one the most productive investments a family or a nation can make in its
children. It is also possibly the most comprehensive policy tool for development, with benefits
extending to health, labor, civic participation and even the environment. At a broad level, a
quality education has been shown to boost GDP growth, promote civic involvement and even
benefit environmental sustainability. Education also improves individual health and
productivity, with an especially pronounced effect for women. More educated women are more
likely to use family planning methods and studies have shown that each additional year of
secondary schooling reduces fertility by 10% (World Bank, 2012). Educated women are also
more likely to seek medical care for themselves and their families; women with higher levels of
education have lower maternal mortality rates and their children get more immunizations and
have better nutrition. Education also improves labor productivity; worldwide, each additional
year of education increases wage earning by 10%, with even more pronounced benefits in poor
countries and for women (World Bank, 2012). Furthermore, the intergenerational effects of
education compound the benefits of investing in education. Girl’s whose mothers have formal
education generally remain in school longer and receive more education (World Bank, 2012). In
short, education improves lives today in the future.


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