Education plays a vital role in our everyday lives. Schooling grants the ability to read street signs when you’re lost and know if you have enough money in your wallet to buy groceries. Literacy and other basic skills are not a guaranteed part of life for millions of people. One-quarter of the youth population in low-income countries cannot read all or part of a sentence, disproportionately affecting women (UNESCO), and an estimated 53 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries cannot read proficiently by age 10 (UNICEF). Reading and writing become more difficult to learn with age, so starting young is an advantage for many reasons. The learning disparity between nations does not go without consequence. The global cost of millions of children not having basic skills translates into a loss of an estimated $129 billion (UNESCO).
Investing in education is incredibly important socially and economically. Equitable education can increase a country’s gross domestic product per capita by 23 percent over 40 years (UNESCO). Children that learn how to read can aid their parents and other older community members that might have a harder time learning to read and write. Literacy is also key for internet use, which allows new entrepreneurs to apply for grants, loans, and other funding opportunities. Strategic investments in children under 8 years old can mitigate the effects of poverty, which affects everything from food access to water (National Academy of Science). Education is one of Transform Poverty Global’s key main focus areas because of its ability to create a strong positive impact in communities. Increased global literacy is another way of achieving sustainable human, social, and economic development, all of which are vital to ensuring international peace and security.