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  Despite its importance, education in developing countries is not given as much attention as to other poverty-affecting sectors such as public health. Education is underfunded in developing countries, and there are insufficient numbers of schools, teachers, and learning materials.

About 72 million children around the world still do not receive primary education, and almost half of them have never received any education. According to UNESCO, an estimated 771 million adults worldwide are illiterate. Poverty is one of many reasons for low school attendance and literacy. School tuitions, uniforms, and books often amount to more than what many parents can afford. Impoverished communities lack financial and human resources to build new schools, so many children in remote areas may have to walk several hours to go to school, while risking child trafficking and crimes.

Girls have an especially high school dropout rate, mainly because of gender inequality and lack of separate toilets in schools. Girls who do not receive education are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse from a young age, marry early, and have more children, and are more vulnerable to poverty and violence, than those who received education. Moreover, educated women education are more likely to send their children to school than less educated women, which often results in the inheritance of poverty.

There is a strong link between improvement of education and sustainable economic development. In general, education fosters a developing country’s economic growth by generate economic opportunities and incomes. Indeed, quality-adjusted education is important for economic growth. Education is a right, like the right to have proper food or a roof over your head. Basic education brings healthy lifestyles and gender equality, and helps combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases. Adequate job trainings increase skills, productivity, and capacity of the labor force, which would drive up the employment and bring about economic growth.

Moreover, women’s education brings various social benefits, including increased female’s economic participation, lower fertility, lower maternal and infant mortality, and better health care of children. For instance, it is known that a child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to survive past age five.
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The Global Poverty Public Awareness Project in Korea.
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