Nelson Mandela once said that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” E. EXCEL has long understood the importance of educating people and the difference that education makes in the way people live around the world. Numerous studies and reports confirm that, in fact, a strong education provides the means for tremendous changes to be made—locally and globally. Here are just a few global concerns that education may influence.
Evidence indicates that when a mother is educated, her children’s nutrition improves; that improvement increases when the mother has a higher education. Education offers mothers the skills and resources needed to provide nutritious meals for their children. UNESCO research shows that approximately 47 million children in low-income countries are stunted because of malnutrition. If mothers in these countries had a primary education, 1.7 million of these children would be saved from stunting. If those mothers had a secondary education, 12.2 million children would be saved from stunting.
Better educated people are less vulnerable to health risks. A strong education helps fight the spread of disease, reduces mother and child mortality, and generally improves health. When mothers receive an education, they are more likely to work to prevent disease. UNESCO reports that each additional year of a mother’s schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality by as much as 10 percent and that a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to live past age five.
Peace and Justice
Education is an essential precursor to peace, tolerance, and a healthy civil society. Education encourages transparency and stability and helps fight against graft and corruption. Studies show that people with secondary educations are more likely than those with only primary education to show tolerance to immigrants, people of a different religion, people with HIV, and people of a different race. Literate people are also more likely to participate in the democratic process and exercise their civil rights.
A strong education builds on itself, creating greater capacity to educate others and nurture a culture that values learning. Education equips learners of all ages with the skills and values needed to better provide for themselves and their children, and to be responsible global citizens.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization reports that 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills—that would be a 12 percent drop in global poverty. UNESCO also noted that one extra year of schooling increases an individual’s earnings by up to 10 percent, and each additional year of schooling raises average annual gross domestic product by 0.37 percent.
E. EXCEL’s commitment to teaching sound principles of health and nutrition reinforce the value we place on education and the power it has, like Mandela noted, “to change the world.” We applaud all efforts to provide a strong education to people around the world, especially those in under-served countries.