Thursday 18 July 2024
 
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Audrey Azoulay

Drop-outs, educational gaps ‘cost global economy $10trn a year’

PARIS, 29 days ago

The UNESCO puts the cost to the global economy of school drop-out and education gaps at $10 trillion a year by 2030, equivalent to more than the annual GDPs of France and Japan combined.
 
In a new report entitled “The price of inaction: The global private, fiscal and social costs of children and youth not learning”, UNESCO estimates that reducing the proportion of early school leavers or those without basic skills by just 10% would increase annual GDP growth by 1 to 2 percentage points. Education therefore appears to be one of the best investments a country can make, a WAM report said.
 
Beyond these financial considerations, the report warns of the significant social damage caused by these educational shortcomings. Gaps in the acquisition of basic skills are associated, worldwide, with a 69% increase in early pregnancies among young girls, while each year of secondary education contributes to reducing the risk of girls marrying and having a child before the age of 18.
 
Breaking the vicious cycle
While 250 million girls and boys are currently excluded from access to education across the globe, the UNESCO report analyses for the first time the economic and societal cost of educational deficiencies. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, calls on the Organisation's Member States to break the "vicious circle" of school drop-outs as quickly as possible.
 
"10 trillion dollars a year – the global cost of school drop-out and lack of education is staggering. In addition to these financial considerations, there is a considerable social impact. The message in this UNESCO report is clear: education is a strategic investment - one of the best investments for individuals, economies and society as a whole. I call our member states to ensure that this universal right becomes a reality for every human being as soon as possible,” the UNESCO Director-General said.
 
During a gathering of education ministers at UNESCO headquarters in Paris (France) – in the presence of Gabriel Boric, President of Chile, who co-chairs with the Director-General the High-Level Steering Committee for Quality Education for All – Azoulay called on the Organisation's 194 member states to "respect their commitment to transform education from a privilege to a prerogative for every human being throughout the world". 
 
The Director-General also observed: “Education is an essential resource for meeting the challenges of today, from poverty reduction to the fight against climate change.”--TradeArabia News Service
 



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