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Generational Poverty Due to Lack of Education

Generational Poverty Due to Lack of Education

The lack of education around the globe is a growing concern for society. The number of children residing in low-income communities that lack the opportunity for a balanced education is scary. The outcome of not being educated can have lifelong consequences in both the physical body and mental abilities of adults. The suffering of children is not limited to one area of the world but is widespread, and this makes the lack of education a global issue. Society, communities, and governments are obligated to improve the educational opportunities for every child worldwide. Research indicates that receiving a proper education gives children a significant chance to rise above the poverty line and help build and establish a more well-rounded life. The outcome of generational poverty goes beyond poor living conditions. As a society, it is a global responsibility to advocate for better education standards to end generational poverty. The cycle of generational poverty and the lack of an education are disadvantages that impact all aspects of life which results in less employment opportunities, judgment by society, and potential mental health issues.

Background on Issue

What does the term lack of education imply? Lack of education is best defined as a state in which an individual has a below-average level of what the common population would consider basic such as reading. Studies have shown that communities that have high poverty rates also experience a lack of formal education. Having the ability to read and write is a critical life skill many in today’s society take for granted. As a child, many learn to communicate with others through reading and writing. As an adult, that same skill helps individuals establish careers and, in turn, provide for their families. As important as those skills seem, the opportunity to learn to read and write is not granted by birth, and many do not learn this most basic form of communication. There are approximately 72 million children from the age of 5-12 that are not enrolled in school or learning basic reading and writing (Abramov, 2019). Data has shown many within this number come from a life of generational poverty where their parents and, at times, their great-grandparents also did not have access to formal education for basic skills. Once the cycle of poverty starts, it continues until an individual desire to be more and do more and then gets help to achieve that goal. As a society, we have the ethical duty to ensure anyone who wants an education has access to one, as everyone capable of reading and writing should have that chance. Based on the large role that education in youth holds on an individual’s future, the lack of education for 72 million or more children is a global issue.

Evidence and Support

Research shows extensive benefits such as better paying jobs and better physical and mental health that having access to education allows people living in low-income communities globally. Having both the knowledge of formal education as well as community skills can assist generations in rising above extreme poverty. Families dwelling below the poverty line are limited in education globally due to a lack of education and learning opportunities. Local and international funding is critical to improving education (Burnett, 2008).

Many challenges face the youth of today that dwell in extreme poverty. Experts have adapted the term ‘Education for All’ that is many times ignored or not understood. Poverty and famine impact the values of parents and youth generationally, and many times poverty is due to a lack of formal education for generations back. By improving education opportunities, effectively, values improve, and poverty along with famine is vastly decreased. Education has the potential to be the key to alleviating extreme poverty globally (Charvon & Chase, 2016).

Education is best represented as a coin with two sides that work together to create and hold value. One side of education is community-based education. This is part of schooling that happens outside the classroom and focuses on reproducing knowledge of day-to-day living and achievement to help create a drive for others in the same community to desire the same. The flip side of that community-based education is formal schooling. Formal school is about developing new understandings and ambitions. While the two need to work together, at times, because of the extreme situations youth dwell in, they can challenge each other. By learning and cultivating a spirit of ambition, the youth can become distant from community knowledge, social networks and support. This causes harm as community support is critical if formal schooling does not lead to a productive life ending generational poverty (Charvon & Chase, 2016).

The effects of poverty based on a lack of educational opportunities on a child’s development are apparent in many ways. Early childhood development prior to school and in the early years of formal education has an impact on adult life. Both direct and indirect education and the lack of opportunities for education play a role in how a child performs later as an employee, friend, spouse or parent. A child’s ability to learn from school and then become a productive member of society has been proven as a way to escape from poverty in the United States and among developing countries. Education is the critical element that needs to be supported by society as a whole. Improving school readiness has the potential to eliminate poverty and improve society as a whole. (Engle & Black, 2008).

Healthy people function better. There is a large amount of evidence that supports that health and education are linked. Separately there have been significant links to socioeconomic statuses, such as poverty, when health or education is lacking (Long et al., 2020). While it is important to promote health in school beyond the classroom and into the community, removing resources from education to reapply them to health improvement around the community the school serves is dangerous. Much like the separation of state and church, when schools step away from their primary focus of educating students, there is a potential to compromise educational standards. Removing school funding or redirecting school funding to support community health is not wise. While both health and educational opportunities are linked, it cannot be the responsibility of the schools to improve both. It is a global issue that requires society to step up and out for the children to help improve the health of their own community so that students may focus on school and that schools can be equipped to provide the education needed (Long et al., 2020).

In a study aiming to prove that healthier students learn better, seven relevant health disparities were selected as strategic priorities to review. The seven were (1) vision, (2) asthma, (3) teen pregnancy, (4) aggression and violence, (5) physical activity, (6) breakfast, and (7) inattention and hyperactivity. The conclusion was that no amount of preparedness a teacher has, regardless of accountability measures within the school, and no matter what policies are established for schools by the government, educational progress is profoundly limited in situations where students are not motivated and their ability to learn is reduced. Health problems play critical key in limiting the lack of motivation a child feels. Reducing these disparities for those living in poverty will improve their rate of success with the formal school. It must be done through a coordinated approach at all levels of the nation (Basch, 2011).


The lack of education among the youth of the globe is still on the rise and is certainly a global issue. There is an ongoing goal of no child left behind in which society takes responsibility for the next generation and follows its ethical duty to help the undereducated. There must be a drive from authorities to plan and then action a globally strategic initiative. Governments must focus on providing training, finances, and support to those who facilitate education. One way to do this is by assessing the needs of each school system, as each is not in the same position, and while education needs to be a global issue, it must be addressed at each individual nation’s level. Support and outreach programs should be established to provide proper funding and grants to create programs for those in need. Society as a whole needs to remove its bias for the undereducated. The lack of opportunity should not define an individual’s future. By being open-minded to training a potential candidate, organizations can start the process of ending generational poverty. By requiring higher education in most high-level careers, society limits the potential pool and ultimately may not have the best candidate for the job. Not taking action will only increase the cycle so many are born into with generational poverty. Higher unemployed rates correlate to a smaller workforce and great crime. The great the crime rate, the greater number of people incarcerated, and single-family homes experience more issues than those traditional two-parent homes. In order to secure our future leaders around the globe, children, families, and communities need to be a priority. The cycle of generational poverty as a result of a lack of education creates clear disadvantages that impact all aspects of life, often leading to unemployment, bullying, and mental health issues. Society has an ethical responsibility to fix the issue.


Abramov, Fedir V. (2019) “The Society’s Lack of Education as a Factor in the Spread of Manipulation with Public Sentiment.” Business Inform 6:8–13.

Basch, C., 2011. Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap. Journal of School Health, 81(10), pp.593-598.

Burnett, N. (2008). Education for all: an imperative for reducing poverty. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136, 269–275.

Charvon, G., & Chase, E. (2016). Understanding “Education for All” in Contexts of Extreme Poverty: Experiences from Burkina Faso. Journal of International and Comparative Education, 5(2), 103–114.

Engle, P. and Black, M., 2008. The Effect of Poverty on Child Development and Educational Outcomes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136(1), pp.243-256.

Long, S., Littlecott, H., Hawkins, J., Eccles, G., Fletcher, A., Hewitt, G., Murphy, S. and Moore, G., 2020. Testing the “Zero‐Sum Game” Hypothesis: An Examination of School Health Policies and Practices and Inequalities in Educational Outcomes. Journal of School Health, 90(5), pp.415-424.


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Prepare a shortened version of your Final Paper (at least four pages) by including the following:

Introduction paragraph and a thesis statement you developed for your Week 3 Assignment.
Background information on the global societal issue you have chosen.

Generational Poverty Due to Lack of Education

Generational Poverty Due to Lack of Education

A brief argument supporting at least two solutions to the global societal issue.
Conclusion paragraph.
Must document any information used from at least five scholarly sources in APA style as outlined in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center’s Citing Within Your PaperLinks to an external site. Note that you will need at least eight scholarly sources for your Final Paper in Week 5.

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