Obiectivele pe care şi le propune o societate responsabilă depăşesc resursele şi competenţele administraţiei publice. Participarea şi responsabilitatea tuturor nu este o opţiune, ci o condiţie pentru a prezerva mediul economic şi mediul natural - cultura şi civilizaţia. Angajamentul şi obiectivele CEDD se înscriu în această perspectivă.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcgbox/14711742136/in/photostream/                                                                             

 

 

 

Could an accessible, differentiated educational system win the war against poverty?

 
 
 
 

 

Is the need for education subjective?

Objective point of view – statistics and political strategies

Educational system - absolute strategic priority

How educational system’s faults nurture poverty

Accelerating the speed of change

What does poverty mean?

Effects of a faulty educational system

Can we express “mathematically” the rapport between EDUCATION and poverty?

Discrepancy between declared purposes and implemented actions

OPPORTUNITIES – WHAT DO WE SUGGEST?

Reconsider the content and objectives

The need (utility) of a complex approach

From a special manual to a model of training and progress

Conclusion

 

 

 

Is the need for education subjective?

    Educational service is the expression of a system through which the government and authorities can very easily control the quality of the population – for better or for worse. While considering strictly their role inside the society, as long as they don’t have a minimal education, individuals can’t bring any positive contributions in that part of the society they belong to, therefore, they affect by patterns of behavior and the daily decision of being involved and aware or disconnected.

     Therefore, people need to acquire some basic knowledge regarding the world they live in and the rules of the society they belong to. As long as these information are not provided in an organized, centralized and up-to-date educational system - molded on the specific characteristics and needs of each part of the world - individuals might end up with an incomplete or even distorted image over essential aspects of life, such as their well-being, earning money, knowing their rights, being active and influential in the community etc.

It is essential that individuals understand their context at a larger scale, in order to be willing to contribute to the well-being of the whole: to work, to earn a living, to respect the environment and the efforts of the others. These have been the basic conditions for progress. But nowadays, there is an ever-growing gap between the rich & successful and poor & unsuccessful people, with the latter constantly increasing in number.

 

Objective point of view – statistics and political strategies

 

Statistical data – inclusive the ones related to UE – describe some worrying trends regarding youngsters’ unemployment, the fragility and shortage of work places, the economic and financial pressure created by old population, the ample migrations movement determined by poverty (and amplified by the geo-political insecurity and climate change). Another preoccupying dimension – observed at a global level – is the low level of training of young people, along with the inadequacy of forming patterns with the market’s demands.

The confirmation of this diagnostic is reflected by the strategic objectives proposed by the EU regarding the “increase labor participation and better match labor supply and demand” and the smart growth - innovation, education and digital society.

 

Educational system - absolute strategic priority

 

The basis of this study is the hypothesis – validated by the actual context – that poverty is caused by the faults of the educational system, whose impact affects equally the individuals (labor force), the entrepreneurial capacity (creation of new jobs), the politic decisions (public & economic policies) and the efficiency in resources management.

As a consequence, poverty eradication (as social ideal or political objective) demands development and improvement of educational frame, the adequacy of content and educational methods to the new realities and challenges. This priority is even more important in the developing countries, where it becomes a surviving condition.
 
 

How educational system’s faults nurture poverty

 
 The tendency towards impoverishment that society has had in the last decades is nurtured - if not caused – in content, form and context, by a faulty educational system.
 
By content, we understand the inadequacy of the information - which is subject of educational process - to the existing realities.
 
By form, we understand the manner in which the information is provided to the ones interested in it (suggestion: considering the advantages of the technologies, we believe that the use of ICT is far more convenient, even for the under-developed areas. Building physical facilities will cost much more than building technological infrastructure).
 
By context, we understand external elements that influence the educational system, by improving and affecting it. Depending on it, the concrete impact of different educational policies, for example, can have severe variations (giving x% of GDP for EDUCATION in country A can be much bigger/smaller from x% of GDP for EDUCATION in country B, with direct consequences on the amount of efforts it allows For development).
 

Accelerating the speed of change

 
Lack of education is part of a system that fuels, one by one, difficulties to adapt in an ever-developing, fast-paced society. People take smaller or bigger periods of time to adapt to certain circumstances. The present state of the world requires each and every individual the capacity to deal with situations as they come – and the fact is that they came fast. Actually, so fast that we have made the management of change a science.

The challenge is big enough for normal, educated individuals. It becomes enormous particularly for those situated in rural areas, for the females who still struggle in some parts of the world to get permission to enroll in educational activities, for persons with disabilities and even for poor people.

 

What does poverty mean?

 

The statistics define poverty taking into consideration the income.

There are, nonetheless, some other references that define the tendency of depletion/impoverishment of the society. To mention few of them, by far the most important:

§     Unemployment (seen either as people losing their job or simply not having the opportunity to sell or roll on with production activities – ex: in agriculture etc.)

§     The conflicts between generations, regarding the unsuccessful transfer of know-how.

§     Population aging – consequences: one active individual supports more and more pensioners, so the same amount of resources is shared between more people

§     The complex migration phenomenon caused by

§  Geo-political insecurity

§  Climate changes

§  Underdeveloped economy

 

All these are part of an assembly of phenomenon that count as premises for the impoverishment of the population. Neglected or not approached consistently and with determination, these will become more and more prominent, with an increased negative impact on the prosperity and socio-economic equilibrium of the society.

Consequences of the impoverishment could be translated into:

    §  inferior quality of life

    §  social violence

    §  fragility of the constitutional state (État de droit) etc.

 

The phenomenon of poverty emphasizes a vicious circle:  EDUCATION- Jobs – Income – Access to education. Breaking this circle is only conceivable by political decision and the courage to establish priorities in public policies. Social and economic insertion and development are obviously based upon individual capital - which is health and EDUCATION - so we can easily understand why EDUCATION is a major topic, with the proper amount of influence.

 

Due to EDUCATION being subject of multiple analyses and debated, we limit our research to a few endeavors:

    §     to give a “mathematic” expression to the impact EDUCATION has in the economic and social insertion of the individuals

    §     to suggest adjusting the efforts to educate towards young people at the age when they are or should be in the educational system

 

 

Effects of a faulty educational system

 

A.    One would be tempted to say that poverty is cause by the lack of available jobs. Fair enough. When people work, they get paid and their social status is changed. So:

Poverty ∝ 1/Jobs

OBS. We used to indicate that two values are proportional

 

►  EDUCATION allows people to gain access to new, better jobs, in order to maintain or increase their well-being, social status and lifestyle.

Jobs ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education           (1)

 

B.    But one of the very familiar phenomenon is that societies are not able to balance the number and mainly, the skills of unemployed people with the offer of jobs on the market. In order to get a job, people require different sets of skills and abilities – acquired in classes, courses or experience. Which leads us to the conclusion that in order to get a job, one needs a certain education.


     Poverty ∝ 1/Skills

 

ü  EDUCATION allows people to acquire the skills and capacities to develop themselves and understand the world around them, which opens up paths towards better jobs and a better life.

 

            Skilss ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education   (2)

 

C.    Nowadays, children of developed countries might not completely understand the concept of borders, due to globalization and all its advantages. On the other hand, because of the flaws of the educational system, citizen of this world, that are looking for a job, feel threatened about their inability to cross those borders that keep them away from a well-paid work place. An uneducated person is not able to see, to seek or to benefit from opportunities.

 

Poverty ∝ 1/Opportunities

 

ü  EDUCATION allows people to have better access to the opportunities around them, to identify them and to engage in endeavors towards getting the benefits.

 

       Opportunities ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education                (3)

 

D.                       An uneducated person is not able to develop his or hers entrepreneurial capacity.  Considering that 97% of the world’s GDP is realized by medium and small enterprises. The profits for the whole world would increase if people would be supported in developing their own functional, cost-effective enterprise.

 

Poverty ∝ 1/Creation of new jobs

 

ü  EDUCATION allows people to access their own resources in order to work for themselves, to invest in the things they are passionate about and to, eventually, create projects and enterprises that will develop and offer a job to others.

 

                         Creation of new jobs ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education    (4)

 

E.     There are multiple jobs that require a low or medium qualification, so plenty of people could work, for a smaller payment, but still in satisfactory conditions. But an uneducated person is not able to respond in an efficient manner.

 

Poverty ∝ 1/Efficiency

 

ü  EDUCATION allows people to engage in their activities with maximum of efficiency, proving themselves worthy of completing their tasks, while helping the society to be profitable.

 

Efficiency ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education                            (5)

 

F.     A huge part of the changes happening nowadays is due to civil society. People gather in NGOs or similar structures, connected by an interest or a hobby, and they promote knowledge, alternatives and change, having success in most of the major areas/issues, sometimes against the government or big institutions. In order to fight these issues, people need to know what it’s all about, and after considering the alternatives, to make their own decision, supporting the well-being of the society. An uneducated person is not able to perceive the larger picture and to understand the threats or the stakes, not able to engage in civil activities, according to personal preferences and also fails to understand the political system, with the direct implications over society’s well-being.

 

Poverty ∝ 1 / Civil & politic discernment

 

ü  EDUCATION allows people to understand not only the practical, but also the more sensitive aspects of the society they live in: politics, environmental, collective aspects and to have their say in a deliberate manner, as part of the community. 

 

         Civil & politic discernment ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education     (6)

 

G.    Although the modern society has a cumulative tendency towards globalization, one of the biggest impediments in realizing this goal is discrimination – based either on gender, race or religion.  A huge number of people tend to not only appreciate their own values more, but to condemn and try to suppress the values of others. The second biggest challenge modern society has to face nowadays – considering shrinking of resources, with all its economic implications, first one - originates in the intolerance individuals manifest towards those surrounding them, just to name a few of the effects - wars started in the name of religion, the death of so many people due to religious practices (like arranged marriages for young girls, that can’t survive the early pregnancies and/or diseases) etc. An uneducated person can’t be expect to respect the values, firstly because they don’t understand them, they might feel threatened and have the urge to protect the familiar, resulting in all sorts of conflicts that have the capacity to shatter the balance of the whole world and maintain large parts of population in poverty.

 

Poverty ∝ 1/ Lack of discrimination

 

ü  Education enables people with consideration, making them aware that the differences between people are reason to find out more, not to judge or destroy.

 

              Lack of discrimination ∝ Education ⇒ Poverty ∝ 1/Education  (7)

 

 

Can we express “mathematically” the rapport between EDUCATION and poverty?

 

Results:

A.                                          Poverty ∝           Jobs                                             (1)

                                              Poverty ∝           Skills                                            (2)

                                              Poverty ∝           Opportunities                             (3)

                                              Poverty ∝           Entrepreneurial capacity         (4)

                                              Poverty ∝           Efficiency                                    (5)

                                              Poverty ∝           Civil & politic discernment       (6)

                                              Poverty ∝           Lack of discrimination              (7)

 

The smaller the value of these factors, the highest the rate of poverty is. But at the same time, EDUCATION can have a major impact on each of them. Because

 

B.                                                Jobs ∝ EDUCATION

                                                   Skills ∝ EDUCATION

                                                   Opportunities ∝ EDUCATION

                                                   Entrepreneurial capacity ∝ EDUCATION

                                                   Efficiency ∝ EDUCATION

                                                   Civil & politic discernment ∝ EDUCATION

                                                  Lack of discrimination ∝ EDUCATION

 

 

From  A & B    ⇒                POVERTY 1 / EDUCATION7

 

 

Considerations:

1.           The above formula is the concentrated representation of the rapport between poverty and its (main) causes. We’ve only approached it from 7 different points of view, which we considered the most important, but the exercise can be extended for various other attempts to connect poverty with other social and economic aspects that nourish the phenomenon of impoverishment.  

2.               The mathematical precision in quantification of the impact of EDUCATION is not a purpose, but the formula successfully depicts, in a suggestive and crystal-clear manner the relationship between the considered elements.

3.               So our objective is the attempt to underline the dominant trend of the indicators, without considering the particularities – geographic area, demographic data, public policies, economic and social specificity etc. The relation between the considered elements is the same in all circumstances, and each of them (1- number of jobs, 2 – skills, 3 – opportunities, 4 – the number of new generated jobs, 5 - efficiency and 6 – civil & politic discernment) is affected – limited or increased – by the level of EDUCATION. 

The main thing the society should do in order to eradicate poverty and help development, as a whole, is to EDUCATE its people.

 

 

 

Discrepancy between declared purposes and implemented actions

 

According to the discourses, the aim of every nation is to support the development of free and harmonious human individuality and autonomous personality. THEN WHY IS ACCESS TO EDUCATION RESTRICTED?

  • Precarious funding for education, almost always insufficient
  • Political actors that don’t support the continuity or the cohesion of the measures and changes in the educational system
  • The structure of testing procedures is reformed/changed time after time, without too much interest given to the process of accumulating information and then, turning them into knowledge
  • Most of the people don’t have access to or motivation to stay in an educational system that fails constantly to prove its value

 

 

The impediments against a system with the capacity to ensure an indiscriminate access to education are multiple, varied and worth to be considered. This is the reason why the group that is restrained from benefiting of facilities is also differentiated and multi-layered.

 

 

Considering the geographical impediments/elements, we identify

  • Persons that can’t or have difficulties in reaching opportunities to either learn or work (the phenomenon known as NEETNot in Education, Employment or Training)
  • Persons that, because of the poverty in the geographical area they live in, are forced to move, sometimes in some other countries, leaving their children unattended – which leads to the phenomenon known as ELET (Early Leaving from Education and Training)

 

 

Considering the material elements, we identify

  •   Persons that can’t access education, due to lack of  fundamental materials – children that stay home because they lack clothes, books and/or notebooks

 

 

Considering the social elements, we identify

  •  Persons that belong to disorganized families and/or social environments that aren’t exactly  premises for stability and balance, that are fundamental for education
  •   Persons that belong to an age-range considered vulnerable – too young to be hired or too old to be offered a new satisfactory job

 

While overlooking the geo-political context, the educational system is lacking cohesion, fails plenty of the beneficiaries because, doesn’t have strategy or a vision and the implacable consequence is POVERTY.

 

 

The main purpose of the educational system is to help individuals to open up towards comprehension, which includes understanding concepts and making different, valid connections between them.  The secondary resolution is to open up and support every child and/or adult to develop the capacity of decision-making – a personal, responsible process, completed by comparing all the available options, after identifying and understanding each and every one of them.

 

OPPORTUNITIES – WHAT DO WE SUGGEST?

 

One of the main conclusion is that although there is a consensus – public perception, regulation, official programs and declarations – regarding the importance of education in social and economic insertion of individuals, major dysfunctions still distort the educational system. In order to make real changes, punctual, specific actions are required. Obviously, the major responsibility belongs to the decision makers in public policies, characterized by lack of vision and political will - the political representative fail to understand, for example, health and EDUCATION as areas of major social and economic importance and to put them on their working agenda as absolute strategic priorities.

 

Reconsider the content and objectives.

 

Is there a solution? Even if an efficient counteraction comes from the civil society, the adequate answer – with a genuine impact over the whole society – can’t come, unless the public policies are reconsidered. The reconsidering the policies means, firstly, admitting that EDUCATION represents an absolute strategic priority, in need of more resources (financing), adapted methods and a reconsidered contents and objectives.

 

The need (utility) of a complex approach

 

The classical model (mainly when it comes to scholar and university area) is based upon an inventory of concepts, classified on domains (mathematics, biology, sociology etc.) and scheduled on a yearly basis. The support for this model is the manual or the treaty.  What this model does is to allow a progressive access to a level of knowledge or skills compulsory when it comes to getting a job. It is about an acquiring journey, necessary - without doubt, but it’s a long way, that holds no perceptible immediate reward and people tend to become demotivated. The number of people remaining on this path is lower and lower, according to the school dropout rates or the increasing numbers of people with a low-level education.

 

On the other side, the contemporary society is being confronted with a series of severe issues that directly affect all categories of people: small number of jobs, unemployment, crises, geopolitical insecurity, aging, drugs, migration, expatriation, externalization, globalization, moral values, circular economy, cultural divergences or affinities, discrimination etc. There is no manual or discipline that has an immediate answer for these, that due to their global impact, could be called crosscutting issues

 

Our proposal is the elaboration – compilation of a „manual” that frontally approaches transversal subjects, themes and concepts. With the adequate proportions, it could easily be seen as a first-aid - surviving manual.

 

This new kind of manual can be at the same time an informative and prophylactic material – offers an immediate explication to an acute issue and explains what it should or shouldn’t be done. Last, but not least, it can be seen as a „motivational preamble” – can justify the need or utility of long time commitment while studying a discipline or following a training program. Of course, the booklets would be edited accordingly with the level or situation/context of the recipients.

 

From a special manual to a model of training and progress

 

Each subject will be continued by 2 questions

-          Do you want to know more about the subject? Link (website, bibliography)

-          Do you want to receive any more of our news? Newsletter

 

This implies that the process of updating the data base with information will be a continuous process, with the involvement of a team that has tutored the project from the beginning, and that can welcome any new member when needed.

 

Conclusion

Education is a process declined at all age stages and all learning forms.

 

  Investing in the education of those who lack the ability/circumstances to educate themselves is one of the basic endeavors that people from developed countries must engage themselves into.

 

  Our research proved that EDUCATION is a key factor in ensuring social and economic insertion, and more precisely that the lack of education is one of the main causes of poverty. One other main resolution is that there is a general consensus about the importance of education (common perception, institutional structures). Even so, public policies are not adjusted into setting education as strategic priority.

 

  Our research offers a “mathematical” expression of the direct or indirect impact EDUCATION has over the impoverishment phenomenon (income, information access and jobs, capacity to create new jobs, efficiency, civil & politic discernment, capacity to adapt to change etc.) Even if the formulas don’t quantify precisely the impact, they prove without equivocation the importance and strategic character of education. Implicitly, the demonstration underlines the major responsibility of the political decision- makers (by condemning the lack of vision and political will as first cause of impoverishment phenomenon).    

 

    Finally, our suggestion is that the classical educational process – that consists in a gradual knowledge-intake, structured on domains, following manuals/treaties etc. – could be improved by complementary instruments, such as a new type of “manual”/guide ” that frontally approaches transversal subjects, themes and concepts that the contemporary society is being confronted with: unemployment, crises, geopolitical insecurity, aging, drugs, migration, expatriation, externalization, globalization, moral values, circular economy, cultural divergences or affinities, discrimination etc.

 

 

 


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