Over 171 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty if all children left school with basic reading skills, that is, equivalent to a 12 per cent drop in the world total; the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said on Thursday.
Professor Osinbajo who delivered a lecture titled 'Africa Centres of Excellence in African Universities: A Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development' at the 23rd convocation ceremony of Lagos State University (LASU) stated that absolute poverty could be reduced by 30 per cent from learning improvements outlined by the Education Commission.
According to him, education is pivotal to converting Nigeria to the greatest centre for innovation and creativity in the world, adding that education is the most powerful force for socio-economic change in the world. "The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report and the Education Commission's Learning Generation Report provide important evidence on the impact of education on individual's earnings and economic growth,"
"They found that education reduces poverty, increases earnings by roughly 10% per each additional year of schooling. For each $1 invested in an additional year of schooling earnings increase by $5 in low-income countries and $2.5 in lower-middle income countries. It also found that education reduces economic inequalities If workers from poor and rich backgrounds received the same education, disparity between the two in working poverty could decrease by 39 per cent. That education promotes economic growth," he said.
While he described the education of girls as very important, he mentioned that some studies have shown that girls are on the average smarter than boys; stressing that any nation that does not educate its girls does itself great harm. "How do you solve your problems when you lock up your best minds," he queried.
He however disclosed the plan of the Federal government to train this generation of students to create and function in a knowledge driven economy. He also disclosed that the FG is redesigning its educational curriculum as part of the educational Road Map, Every Child counts. "It is quite clear that we have to change both the substance of education that our children receive as well as the methods by which they are educated. Achieving these requires focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM Education)