Poverty and Education

How Does Poverty Affect Education

Poverty impacts education in a major way. An exhaustive answer to “How does poverty affect education?” would be volumes long, but to summarize, here are four main areas below.

A report in 2014 estimated that 263 million children and teens were not attending school. More than 70 percent of the out-of-school children who should have been in primary or secondary education lived in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.1

Even though many families know that education is key to escaping poverty, it is often out of their reach.

Many families in poverty are unable to afford to send their kids to school. In many areas, school costs money for enrollment, uniforms and other supplies. This is a significant expense for families who are having difficulty meeting the basic needs of each person, such as food, water and shelter.

When children attend school, they are unable to work to help provide for the needs of the family, which impoverished children may be forced to do. Those children miss the opportunities that school provides.

Poverty also impacts health and wellbeing, which in turn affects education.

If a child has inadequate medical care, inadequate housing or poor nutrition, their learning and cognitive development often suffers. Oftentimes, easily treated illnesses and infections are left untreated because parents can’t afford health care. As a result, children miss school unnecessarily.

In areas where water shortages are prevalent or water is difficult to access, children frequently miss school because they are called to collect water for hours each day.

Lack of transportation also impacts education. When children need to travel long distances to get to school, it becomes another barrier to consistent attendance.

GFA World helps in each of these areas, understanding that access to education is a key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program, children, their families and communities benefit from community-wide solutions which may include opportunities for education, medical care, protection against malnutrition, clean water and more.

Will you join us in our mission to make education accessible to children in Asia and Africa? Through your gift of child sponsorship, you can have a part in breaking the cycle of poverty for a needy family.

Learn more about poverty and education

1Sustainable Development Goal 4.” UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg4. June 2018.