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Canada should make education a core theme in aid policy

By Scott Walter      

UNESCO and the World Bank calculate that if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. That is a 12 per cent cut in global poverty. If all mothers completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds, saving 189,000 lives. If the enrollment for secondary schooling was 10 percentage points higher than the average, the risk of war is reduced by about 3 per cent.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits a girls' education project in Giza, Egypt. Photograph courtesy of the United Nations.

No nation will achieve gender equality without quality education. Economic development and education similarly go hand in hand, as does educating a nation and ensuring healthcare for all its citizens. In fact, name a worthy, large-scale goal—poverty reduction, peaceful coexistence, good governance – and you’ll find a well-established link between the ability to attain it and the existence of relevant, good quality education[1]. In every country in the world knowledge is power; education empowers and the opportunity to

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