How Urbanization Is Defining The New Generation

830 words - 4 pages

Urbanization is one of the defining words of the new generation. Since 2008, more than half of the world population resided in cities and towns. By 2030, that figure is set to grow to 5 billion, about two- thirds of the population. Currently over one billion children live in an urban environment worldwide. Urban environments are unique, often said to “attract and generate wealth, jobs and investment, and therefore are associated with economic development.” The figures and statements used to generalize these urban areas are incredibly misleading, with poverty and aging education infrastructure over shadowed by small percentage of high preforming and wealthy individuals. Detailed data collected in urban areas would show that one of every three urban dwellers live in subpar environments, often in close proximity to crime, poverty, unhygienic practices, and over-crowded facilities.
The complex nature of urban environments, and the rapid increase in urbanization, place stress on weak education infrastructure. Close proximity to poverty, ill health and lack of cognitive stimulation during childhood weakens the educational foundation even prior to formal education, a phenomenon witnessed worldwide by 200 million children under the age of 5. Similar strains carry on into grade school. Economic status, ethnicity, and gender deter 67 million children from attending primary school. Urban educational facilities are often overcrowded, under staffed, and labeled as poor quality, leading parents to pressure their children to follow paths away from education. Private schools offer engaging curriculum and safe environment for cognitive growth, however the steep price and social stigma bar many children from participating. The dichotomy between public and private education is seen in both developed states like the United States and developing states like India. The lack of adequate resources for large influxes of students in urbanized areas, is an issues that as yet to be solved. And although urban areas offer free primary school, ancillary costs like uniforms, school supplies and exam fees leave many parents unable to pay for education. This is a common issue in cities in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania, where education nationwide is increasing, but decreasing within urban areas due to high cost of living. Others families surveyed in Morocco, Nigeria and San Pablo showed that the families in the lowest income bracket would spend more than one fourth of their wages on children’s education.
Although the aforementioned issues seem to focus on economically disadvantaged areas, urbanization impacts the knowledge and the social atmosphere that all educational bodies share. Topics like environmental sustainability, civic...

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