Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Education got rid of poverty in Korea?

Today's Korea Times ran an article entitled 'Education only way to get rid of poverty.' Now, education plays an enormous part in helping a country advance but only concentrating on education in a developing country is ridiculous.  The article did make a good point about better emphasizing educating women (from Hilde Johnson at UNICEF):
Higher educated women tend to marry late and have fewer children. They are very aware of hygiene and health issues that surround their family and know exactly what they should do.
Education is great but without strong energy policies, getting even basic electricity or running water to schools can be a challenge. Families can't afford to send their children to school if they need the child as a wage earner or laborer for the family farm. Education policy is one facet of successful development policy. Without a more complex, comprehensive plan it's completely ridiculous to say that 'only education eradicates poverty' in the context of the developing world.

Korea's rapid development had a lot more to do with subsidies to get fledgling industries off the ground, comprehensive infrastructure, agriculture reform.  Education was just one part of the plan. I'm not saying that it's not important but education can't be effective without other factors.

No comments: