Is Education the Cure for Poverty?


We all know that statistics regarding global poverty is dreadful and that numerous international charitable organizations are claiming to fight this issue. But what are the exact numbers and what are the results of the activities of those charities? Unfortunately, such information rarely makes it to the news. However, detailed reports and documentaries about poverty around the world can easily be found over the internet. These reports, articles and documentaries can be assigned as a compulsory read or watch before writing a reaction paper in college. Such task can be complicated enough as it is, but how to write a reaction paper if the topic is so delicate and at the same time so acute?

One of the most frequent phrases used in articles and documentaries about poverty is “society must fight poverty”. Naturally, no one would argue with that. However, such statement fails to determine the actual steps and actions that should be done to overcome this global problem. Even the wealthiest countries seem to spend enormous sums of money to overcome poverty, yet these efforts seem to have little or no success at all. Even in the USA, nearly 15% of people (and almost 20% of children) are living down the poverty line. Moreover, almost 2% of these people are forced to live in conditions when they spend less than 2 dollars per day.

Obviously, when a family budget is so strictly limited, it is almost impossible to provide children with decent education. However, recent researches show that poverty causes far more negative consequences to the brains of children from low-income families than it was previously thought. The conducted brain-scanning has shown that there are no considerable differences in the scans of newly-born children, regardless of their race and social status of their families. Unfortunately, another research has shown that children from different age groups, from kindergarten to high school, have visible differences in their brain scans within one group, and proved connection between the family income and sizes of the brain areas, which are considered to be responsible for attention and language processing skills. Moreover, the same brain areas are also responsible for a number of other cognitive skills, such as impulse control. In other words, there is a direct correlation between income and ability to focus, hinder inappropriate responses, and the level of self-regulation.

It is quite complicated to define whether the determinant of such changes is the difference in nutrition, parenting style, schooling, environment, or a combination of these factors, yet another study revealed that such differences in brain structure result in 15 to 44 percent gap in educational performance in adolescence. Such dramatic data can somehow explain why fulfilment of one and the same educational task by different students takes them different amount of effort and diligence.

The abovementioned researches expose the horrifying inference: weak education (or complete lack of it) is inseparably connected with poverty, and together they constitute a vicious circle where one is supported by another. These findings point out the simple truth that education is not actually the cure for poverty, it is a cure for ignorance, as it won’t guarantee a high income, but will give a chance to get a job to secure a better future.

Another frightening fact is that poverty in the world is far more common than it is in the USA. More than 3 billion people (almost half of the humanity) live on less than 2.5 dollars a day. This means that half of the mankind is living in the conditions of constant stress, starvation or malnutrition. Some of them don’t have access to any education whatsoever, and those who do, are experiencing hardship with concentrating on the topic of the study and memorizing the important information.

At this point, 757 million adults in the world are illiterate. And the geography of such phenomenon is not quite what one would expect it to be. For example, in the USA 32 million adult citizens can’t read and write. For some reason, this disturbing data is rarely broadcasted in the news, yet concealing the situation from the public is only making things worse.

When most of the people think about the connection between poverty and education, they usually imagine how pricey postgraduate college programs are. However, once you dig just a little bit into the issue, whether you have to write an essay on a resembling topic, or just out of curiosity, you will find out that the scope of the problem is far beyond the hardship of getting a decent GPA or paying out the college loans. Writing a report, a reaction paper, or any other academic assignment about poverty, definitely won’t result in an immediate change for the whole world, but it can compel people to get involved in finding better and more effective solutions for fighting poverty and making education accessible for those who need it. If you are an educational establishment you can make sure you have a good PR team like This will ensure you are showing education in a good light.