By SAUMYA GOYAL
At the turn of the 21st century, nearly one billion people around the world could not sign their own name. To this day, over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 per day and almost 26 percent of the world’s adult population is illiterate. For centuries, these problems have been present in the human population—these problems collectively define aspects of the global parasite that is poverty. Poverty is cited as one of the main reasons for global illiteracy. In developing countries where free education is not mandated by the government, illiteracy is increasing because for families that can barely afford to eat, education is not a priority.
In order for poverty and illiteracy to decrease, education needs to become a priority. Worldwide, multiple countries have mandated free education. The United States of America, Canada, and members of the European Union are key examples of countries where both poverty and illiteracy rates are low due to governmental efforts to provide welfare as well as a free education. In developing countries such as India and China, poverty rates are relatively high due to the lack of governmental influence on the educational sphere.
Many forces are working to eradicate poverty and illiteracy. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals are primarily concerned with alleviating eight aspects of poverty which affect developing nations, one of them being illiteracy. Public figures, such as Malala Yousefzai, are creating global declarations and treaties which aim to work towards a world where illiteracy, gender inequality, and poverty are nonexistent. Public institutions are effectively increasing awareness about socioeconomic problems which in turn are enacting change.
Many of the worldwide problems caused by poverty are completely avoidable. One method to reduce poverty is to create a system where free education is readily available around the world. Poverty is present in every single country worldwide, however poverty can be completely eradicated if education is prioritized.