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Failure to Educate Children Leads to Economic Losses



From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

A new study has found that a lack of education for young children in developing nations seriously affects economic progress. An organization called Results for Development -- R4D -- published the study. The non-governmental group is based in Washington, D.C. R4D says it developed the study because it was worried about a growing worldwide problem in education. The group says 57 million children of primary-school-age are not in school. Most are from Africa or Southeast Asia.

Milan Thomas works for R4D. He confirmed progress in reducing the number of children who do not attend school. But he admits that progress has slowed in recent years. So R4D raised a question: What is the estimated cost to a nation's economy of its out-of-school children? The group examined information from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and studies of developing labor markets. The results estimate the losses suffered by 20 developing countries if more young children cannot get basic education.

Milan Thomas says the research found that it is far more costly in Africa to have primary-school-age children out of school than to educate them. He notes the cost of providing all children with primary education is much less than the average cost of not providing the schooling. He says the cost of educating children is more than the value of a full year's average economic growth for Ivory Coast, Gambia, Mali, Senegal and Yemen. Mr. Thomas says Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children: 10 million. He says that will cost the country billions of dollars. He hopes the study will move governments to provide education.