“Lack of education, old age, bad health or discrimination – these are causes of poverty, and the way to attack it is to go to the root.”
Robert Kennedy, Politician
Lack of Education: Causes, Effects & Solutions
A lack of education can be defined as a state where people have a below-average level of common knowledge about basic things that they would urgently need in their daily life.
For instance, this could include basic knowledge in math, writing, spelling, etc. Especially in poor developing countries, educational inequality is quite prevalent.
A lack of education can have severe adverse effects. In this article, the causes, effects and solutions for a lack of education are examined in detail.
Causes for a Lack of Education
- Substance abuse
- Bad company
- Cultural factors
- Natural disasters
- Insufficient social aid
- Insufficient educational infrastructure
- Teacher gaps
- Low qualification levels of teachers
- Lack of learning materials
- Gender discrimination
Poverty can be regarded as a big cause of a lack of education and for educational inequality. Children from poor families often do not have access to proper education since it is simply too expensive for their families to send them to school.
Moreover, these children also often have to work instead of attending school since they have to contribute to the family income in order to support their family members financially.
Orphans are at greater risk to suffer from a lack of education compared to “normal” kids since they often have no one who takes care of them. This could lead to financial trouble since it is quite hard to earn enough money to cover your expenses while you are still a kid.
In turn, this may result in a state where these children have to work quite a lot to earn enough money to survive. Thus, these orphans will have no time to attend school since they need all their time to work.
If you grow up in a family with homeless parents, chances are that you will not get proper education since your parents will not have sufficient money to send you to school and they might not even care too much since they often have other problems like drug addiction and you may therefore be at great risk to be neglected. Thus, growing up in a family with homeless parents may also contribute to educational inequality.
Parenting is a big factor when it comes to a lack of education. The more your parents care about you, the less likely it is that you end up with a low level of education. However, in some cases, parents just do not know better.
They may themselves have a low level of education and think that this education level is enough for a happy life. Therefore, they may lead you on the same education path which may lead to a lack of education for you.
The abuse of substances of all sorts can also contribute to a lack of education. If you consume drugs on a regular basis, chances are that you become unreliable and you may also refrain from attending school too often.
Thus, substance abuse at a young age may also increase educational inequality since children who consume drugs will often prioritize substance consumption over school and their education levels are likely to suffer due to that.
If you hang out with family members or friends who are doing drugs or other illegal stuff, chances are that you get influenced by these people and they may eventually drag you down in life. You may also start to consume substances or skip school which may translate into a lack of education in later stages.
Laziness may also be a factor when it comes to educational inequality. Some people have a higher motivation to learn and develop themselves than others.
People who are not gifted with this drive to learn and progress may have a hard time in school since they may have no motivation to get good grades in order to be able to attend university later.
This may also lead to a serious lack of education if the will to learn is extremely limited.
In some cultures, it is also quite common that people often only get quite basic education. These cultures often rely on certain beliefs and may not value advanced education enough to send their children to university or other educational institutions.
Religion can also play a big role in the level of education. Religious families often live quite conservative, which often makes it hard for children to get proper education since the religious beliefs of parents may not be in line with the education goal.
This may be especially true for girls since they are often supposed to stay at home and to cook and do the household instead of getting proper education and start a career.
Conflicts can also be a big cause of a lack of education. In regions where conflicts are common, people simply feel that the protection of their life is more important than sending their kids to school.
Moreover, due to conflicts, many people have to leave their homes and migrate to other countries to save their life. Thus, children who are suffering from these adverse conditions are likely not be able to get proper education due to conflicts.
Natural disasters may also play a role when it comes to a lack of education. When regions get hit by natural disasters like tsunamis or other catastrophes, people living in these regions will suffer from vast destruction of public infrastructure.
They may also suffer from serious health issues due to these natural disasters. Under these horrible conditions, it will be quite hard for children to get proper education since schools and other educational facilities may have been destroyed.
Insufficient social aid
In many countries, there is a lack of or only insufficient social aid and welfare. If people become unemployed, they may not get any financial subsidies from the government.
Imagine you have children and lose your job. Now, you will likely not be able to afford the tuition fees for your kids anymore which may lead to a lack of education for your children.
Insufficient educational infrastructure
In some regions, the overall educational infrastructure is quite bad. This is especially true for rural areas. People who live in these regions often have to bring their children to the next school.
However, many poor people do not even have a car. This will likely lead to a lack of education for their children since these children may not be able to attend school simply due to the long distance.
Some regions may also suffer from a shortage of teachers. In those regions, classes are often quite big and teachers will not be able to respond to every school kid individually.
This may in turn lead to educational inequality since some children learn faster than others. Children who learn quite slow may be left behind and their overall education level may significantly suffer due to that.
Low qualification levels of teachers
Another issue related to a lack of education may be an insufficient qualification of teachers. If teachers have no high level of education, chances are that school kids will also have a low level of education when they finish school since their teachers have simply not been able to teach them on a high level.
Lack of learning materials
Especially in poor developing countries, children also often suffer from a lack of learning materials. If children do not have the appropriate books or other facilities to learn, chances are that their level of education will suffer.
Although the tolerance towards women and girls who want to attend school has increased over the past decades, there are still many countries in which women are meant to stay at home and do the household instead of getting proper education and to work in a normal job.
This gender discrimination will lead to a lack of education for many girls since their families may not want them to attend school.
Children who suffer from disabilities, especially in poor countries, are likely to get only insufficient education since parents will often not have enough money to send all of their kids to school.
These parents will often choose a family member who has the best chances to succeed in school in order to secure the family income. Thus, children with disabilities will rather stay at home instead of attending school.
Effects of Educational Inequality
- Illegal activities
- Social isolation
- Low salary
- Bad working conditions
- Insufficient health insurance
- Poor housing conditions
Many studies have shown that poverty and a lack of education are strongly positively correlated. Since poor families may not be able to send their kids to school, these children may suffer from significant educational inequality.
However, not only is poverty a cause for a low level of education, it can also be an effect of insufficient education since a bad education will often translate into an increased probability for unemployment and low salaries.
A low level of education increases the risk of unemployment dramatically. If you apply for a job, chances are that your education level will be screened by companies. If you do not have a sufficiently high level of education, you will likely not get the job.
Moreover, if you have a low education level and become unemployed, you will also have a hard time to find another suitable job.
A low level of education may also increase the probability of drug addiction. These people may not be aware of the consequences of drug abuse and may only recognize them when it is already too late.
Moreover, due to unemployment or other adverse events in their life, people with low levels of education may be at greater risk to consume drugs since they simply see no bright future for themselves and want to mask their bad feelings with the high of drugs.
Homelessness can also be a cause due to a lack of education. If people lose their job and are not able to pay for their rent anymore, they may be at risk of becoming homeless. Since the chances for unemployment increases with a low level of education, so does the probability of homelessness.
If people are not able to find a job due to their low level of education, chances are that these people are willing to engage in criminal actions in order to make their living.
Imagine you try hard to find a job but it simply doesn’t work out and you have to supply for your children. It would be quite attractive to earn substantial money by engaging in criminal actions, wouldn’t it?
Since the probability to engage in criminal activities increases due to a low level of education, so does the chance to go to jail. If you engage in illegal things, you will be caught sooner or later and may end up in prison. Thus, educational inequality may also increase the chances to go to jail, especially for poor people.
A lack of education may also lead to social isolation since people who only have low levels of education may not be able to follow conversations or to take part in mentally demanding activities.
Therefore, they may lose social contacts and may end up in social isolation. Moreover, since a lack of education may also translate into poverty, these people may also not be able to afford social activities which in turn may lead to social isolation.
Low levels of education also often imply a low salary since the wage for a job is often determined by demand and supply of skills. If workers only have low skill levels, they are easily exploitable by companies which want to maximize profits and therefore will pay their workers only a quite low salary.
Bad working conditions
Since people with a low level of education often do not have many other job options, they may be exploited by firms and may suffer from quite bad working conditions. This may include working quite long hours or working under insecure conditions.
Insufficient health insurance
A lack of education and the resulting low income may also often lead to insufficient health insurance. Many people will simply not be able to afford health insurance due to their low salary.
In case of severe health issues, they may suffer from serious long-term consequential effects since they are often not able to afford proper medical treatment due to their lack of health insurance.
Educational inequality can also lead to significant dependence of all sorts. If you only have a low level of education, chances are that you will be dependent on financial or other support in order to be able to carry out important tasks in your daily life.
Dependence in any form will in most cases not turn out favorable for the dependent person in life since they give away the leverage to other people which may have the power to treat the dependent persons quite bad.
People who only have low levels of education may also be easier to recruit for radical movements. This is due to the fact that these people may not be able to identify the arguments made by fundamentalists as flawed and may therefore be willing to join these organizations, even if these arguments do not make sense at all from an objective perspective.
Poor housing conditions
A lack of education may also contribute to poor housing conditions since it increases the risk of poverty. Poor people may not be able to afford rent in a nice neighborhood and may live in bad neighborhoods which may lead to low quality of life and insecurity for these people.
Solutions for a Lack of Education
- Better educational infrastructure
- Financial support for poor families
- Raise awareness on the importance of education
- More tolerance regarding education
- Minimum wages
- Increase in quality regarding social security
- Improvements in health insurance
- Support for children from difficult family conditions
- Improve quality of teachers
- Close teacher gaps
- Improve access to education for girls and women
Better educational infrastructure
Governments and municipalities should try to provide better educational infrastructure so that it is easier for the local population to attend school.
This means that it has to be assured that the next school is not many miles away but rather within walking distance so that also children of poor families who do not own a car can attend school on a regular basis.
Moreover, building an online course infrastructure may be another great way to improve the overall education levels of the general public.
Financial support for poor families
It is also crucial to support poor families with financial subsidies so that their kids are able to attend school. This is quite important to fight a lack of education since poverty is a main cause why children are not able to go to school. By supporting poor families, educational inequality could be fought to a certain extent.
Raise awareness on the importance of education
Many people might not even be aware of what a lack of education really means for their children. Parents may believe that a basic education taught at home is sufficient to succeed in life since they do not know better.
However, with our technological progress, it is likely that education will be more important than ever to succeed in our nowadays job market.
More tolerance regarding education
It is also crucial that we change the mind of people in a way that they regard education as a valuable thing. In some cultures, education is not regarded as important at all and some parents even do not want their kids to become educated since they fear that their kids will leave them if they give them too many options in life.
An indirect way to fight low education levels may be by setting or even increasing minimum wages. The introduction of minimum wages may likely decrease the level of poverty, which may in turn translate into better chances for children to be able to attend school.
Increase in quality regarding social security
Better social security schemes are also crucial to fight a lack of education. It has to be assured that everyone gets basic aid in case he or she becomes unemployed. This should also include financial support for children to send them to school, even if their parents are unemployed.
By setting up more sophisticated social security schemes, the access of children to proper education could be improved.
Improvements in health insurance
Educational inequality could also be fought by introducing better health insurance schemes. People who lack proper health insurance may be at great risk to suffer from severe long-term damages related to the absence of medical treatment in case of illness.
This in turn may lead to a lack of education for their children since these persons may not be able to work anymore and will therefore likely not be able to pay for the tuition fees for their children.
Support for children from difficult family conditions
Children who experience violence at home may also be at greater risk to suffer from significant lacks of education since they may become mentally sick which may distract them to learn and progress.
Moreover, their parents may not even care at all about their children’s education which may further exacerbate the issue.
Improve quality of teachers
In order to improve the overall education levels, we also have to make sure that the quality of the teachers is sufficient. If the education of teachers is quite low, chances are that also the education levels of school kids will suffer since these teachers will not be able to teach sufficiently advanced things.
Close teacher gaps
In regions where teacher gaps are an issue, local authorities should try to recruit more teachers so that children get a better individual education which may improve their overall education level and therefore may mitigate the problem of educational inequality.
Improve access to education for girls and women
In countries and regions where girls and women are still discriminated against due to their gender, it is crucial to raise the awareness that girls are equally important compared to boys when it comes to the supply with proper education.
By doing so, the value systems in these regions may change and girls may get better access to educational facilities.
A lack of education is a big global problem. Especially in poor countries, many children suffer from educational inequality, which may in turn lead to several severe issues when these children turn into grownups.
Therefore, it is crucial to fight the problem of a lack of education on a global scale. By doing so, we can ensure a brighter future for many people worldwide.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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