Returns on Education
This week I wanted to focus my blog post on the value of education. I am currently taking an economics class at Haverford entitled Microfinance. The first segment of the course is on poverty and this past week we have been focusing on education. I think most people in the developed world would argue that education has value but what about the people on the other side of the world whose children have been in school through fifth grade but still cannot read a simple paragraph? Literacy is a difficult tool to develop but some progress should be made in five years. The majority of families around the world are educating their children but how much are they actually getting in return? How can families below the poverty line in developing countries measure this value? How do parents decide whether or not they should send one of their 4 children to school for 15 years, or send all of their children to school but only through basic primary education? In this class we have been looking at how literacy is defined and its cultural value. It frustrates me that the process in which literacy is attained can be very hit or miss for children in the developing world, when parents “do what they’re supposed to do” and spend the majority of their income on education their kids despite the fact that the school that they are sending their kids to might not have teachers that even show up to class. It creates an even larger imbalance between not just people who are in school but the quality of education across the world.
When we go to Ghana I am interested in seeing the school but it would be really great to have something to compare it to. From what I have heard and seen through pictures, the Titagya School seems incredibly successful. We are going to learn from this school in Ghana about different forms of education but it would be interesting (even though most likely impossible) to visit a school that is not as successful. I am interested in seeing the ways schools contrast and what effect those differences have on whether or not a school succeeds or fails. The summary we read last week about School For Life shed some light on what it takes for schools to succeed in their jobs in Ghana but looking to the future, I would like to find even more answers to why schools in the developing world have such different levels of success.