The Importance of Basic Education


Writer: Imran Casoojee

Basic education is an essential commodity in most countries and an undervalued “luxury” in most of the developing world. The facts speak clearly, usually going without saying, that knowledge is power in the modern world. Men and women, young and old, the sick and healthy all need it; it improves the life of not just the educated, but all those around them as well.


What is the ugly side of education? There isn’t one, really. Perhaps the planning and implementation of it by those responsible can be a difficult task, especially in societies not quite ready to accept all that comes with it. A lot of developing countries still stand against educating women. Girls are expected to learn how to cook, clean and care for families instead of earning salaries. Rooted in tradition, this may be correct, but as a global effort in forward thinking and progression, the more learned minds, the more advanced society is.

An old saying is forewarned is forearmed and I can hardly argue, here are some interesting statistics:

  • Globally, unemployment rate amongst the uneducated is three times the educated rate.
  • Statistically, the educated have a much lower mortality rate than uneducated.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, 11 million leave school before completing primary school.
  • 53% of the world’s out-of-school children are girls.

Education enables a person to make sound, informed and well-thought out decisions. Mali is a good example, where studies have shown that women who have completed secondary school have an average of three children, whereas women who had no education have seven children on average.  South America and Europe have between 90% and 100% literacy rates, while Africa has the lowest in the world of less than 50% in minors (people under the age of 18).

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela


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