ISLAMABAD: Pakistani women having good literacy skills earn 95 per cent more than those with weak literacy skills, according to fresh data released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on Thursday as prelude to the 2014 ‘Education for All Global Monitoring Report’.

While only 30 per cent of the unlettered women believe they can have a say over the number of children they have, the ratio increases to 52pc among women with primary education and to 63pc among those with lower secondary education.

The data released by Unesco just before a discussion on the development agenda during the coming UN General Assembly shows that education plays a vital role in giving young women the freedom to make decisions to improve their lives.

The team formulating the forthcoming Unesco report has cited Mariam Khalique, a teacher who has used education to foster the confidence and abilities of her pupils, as prime example of women playing important roles in society because of their education.

One of Ms Khalique’s many pupils is Malala Yousufzai who is now known across the world for her advocacy of girls’ education.

The analysis was released at a school in New York, where Ms Khalique taught a class full of people about the benefits of education.

“Education has unrivalled power to reduce extreme poverty and boost wider development goals,” said one of the blurbs released on the occasion to promote the ‘Education for All Global Monitoring Report’.

“Investing in education, especially for girls, alleviates extreme poverty through securing substantial benefits for health and productivity, as well as democratic participation and women’s empowerment,” said another blurb.

“To unlock education’s transformative power, however, new development goals must go further to ensure that all children benefit equally not only from primary education but also from good quality secondary schooling.”

The Unesco team led by Pauline Rose says that education also helps girls and young women to resist oppressive social limits on what they can or cannot do.

The analysis shows that education equality improves job opportunities and serves to enhance economic growth. If all children, regardless of their backgrounds and circumstances, had equal access to education, productivity gains would boost economic growth.

Over a period of 40 years, per capita income would be 23pc higher in a country with equality as compared to one with unequal educational opportunities.

According to the analysis, people with higher education are likely to use energy and water more efficiently and to recycle household waste. Across 29 mostly developed countries, 25pc of the people with less than secondary education expressed concerns for the environment, compared to 37pc with secondary education and 46pc with tertiary education.

Ms Rose adds: “Our analysis provides evidence that educated girls are far more likely to be able to protect their children from preventable diseases, and to stave off malnutrition in their children’s early years.”

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Comments (8)

Ravi Ingale from Pune
September 20, 2013 10:20 am

"Education improve Economy" Pakistan still not understood it after 66 years of independence. If Pak take it seriously then not only it will improve their economy but their Society's problem will also solve easily.

September 20, 2013 1:55 pm

“Education has unrivalled power to reduce extreme poverty and boost wider development goals”

This wisdom has been around for decades, perhaps centuries. Yet, we seem stuck on researching and re-stating the facts in different ways.

Why not start implementing some of the obvious solutions, like providing women access to education... rather than shooting female students, opposing co-education, etc.?

September 20, 2013 9:54 pm

@Ravi Ingale from Pune:

Sadly, this applies to India too. I don't think we're better off in any way.

September 21, 2013 1:55 am

The penny dropped at long,last?

After a teen girl is shot when going to school?

After dozens of girls' school destroyed?

Dare I say that Muslim beliefs are misogynist...and of course,nothing to with Islam?

September 21, 2013 11:55 am

Yes and the Earth is also round.

September 21, 2013 3:14 pm

The economy is just fine for the elites. And as they run the country and don't want anyone to even come close to reaching middle-class (except perhaps a few of their friends) this is a designed state. No need to blame the government - in this life you get what you work for and what you deserve. You want education you fight for it.

September 21, 2013 5:52 pm

@Sonal: Excellent comment.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain
September 22, 2013 9:19 am

Universal basic education will greatly help in the economic and social development of Pakistan.

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