August 1, 2011
Letter to the Editor: Universal Basic Education
Source: The New York Times
Universal Basic Education
To the Editor:
“Our Broken Escalator,” by Nicholas D. Kristof (column, July 17), is a stirring call to defend and rebuild America’s deteriorating education system. Study after study shows the overwhelming economic benefits of providing quality education to children, one of the many reasons the Global Campaign for Education-U.S. is working toward making universal basic education a development priority in United States foreign policy.
Universal education is not only critical to fighting poverty, as Mr. Kristof points out, but it is also critical to forging peace.
In underdeveloped countries, every additional year of schooling reduces an adolescent boy’s risk of becoming involved in conflict by 20 percent. According to one study, a country that enrolls more than 87 percent of its children in school decreases its risk of conflict by nearly 75 percent.
It is time that we make education at home and abroad the policy priority it must be if we are to mitigate the global economic crisis and ensure a more secure world.
Washington, July 20, 2011
The writer is director of the Global Campaign for Education-U.S.