There is a serious lack of affordable, quality education in developing nations today. Though there have been increases in global school enrollment over the last decade, there are still
115 million children not attending school in the third world. Of the children who start school,
150 million do not complete four years (Center for Gloval Development, 2004). For a nation to be successful, it must have a healthy, educated, and productive populace. Fundamental education skills form the basis for future learning, and education is an integral part of economic development.
Problems with education in the developing world are the same facing education in the developed world: overcrowded classrooms, poorly trained teachers, and lack of teaching materials (White, 2013). Additionally, schools in the third world are not free, public institutions. Many charge impoverished families exorbitant fees for enrollment and tuition. In addition to the base charges, families must also pay for food, uniforms, and school supplies (White, 2013). The amount of money a family might spend to educate a child can be prohibitive for those most in need of education.
Mark Epstein and Kristi Yuthas, of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, also argue that the Western model of education utilized in developing nations, leave students ill-prepared for dealing with the realities of their situations (2012). In many poor countries, there is a lack of formal employment and institutes of higher learning. Most students will return to their homes
and support themselves and their families with subsistence-level farming (Epstein & Yuthas, Winter 2012). The Western emphasis on academic skills does not help further the situation of many students.
There are many ways to improve education systems in the developing world. Working with NGO’s and governmental organizations to provide more funding, newer schools, teacher training programs, eliminate or lower tuition, and provide free school meals are among the successful methods that have increased enrollment over the last decade. The Stanford Social Innovation Review also argues that changing the model of education in these nations, from one of academic skills to life skills, will not only increase enrollment but also improve the lives of students who finish school (Epstein & Yuthas, Winter 2012).
This model combines a health curriculum based on the work of the World Health Organization with an entrepreneurship curriculum, which teaches children how to live healthy and productive lives within their communities. Teaching life skills such as hygiene and health management, financial literacy, problem solving, and teamwork, gives students practical knowledge that will improve the condition of their lives once they are finished with school (Epstein & Yuthas, Winter 2012). By teaching them basic health and hygiene skills, schools can impact the number of children who die from avoidable diseases. Teaching and practicing teamwork, financial management,...