Academic journal article Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research

Education and Its Contributions to the Economy

Academic journal article Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research

Education and Its Contributions to the Economy

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Having a good education can be a very valuable asset that can improve and enhance the quality of one's life. According to Glewwe et al. (2011), "economists and other researchers have accumulated a large amount of evidence that education increases workers' productivity and thus increases their incomes" (p. 1). Education can help in reaching success and higher goals in life. By having education, one has the greater advantage of knowledge that can help them surpass the common rest. Obtaining a higher education can help one get a higher level job and help reduce the unemployment rate in their country. Furthermore, Hanushek and Woessmann (2008) state that there is also a huge amount of indications that prove that education has a positive effect on economic growth (Glewwe et al., 2011). When people are educated, they provide better services to their country which then can attribute to the economic growth of their land. Education does not only benefit the individual, but also everyone as a whole.

Based on all these information and confirmed results, there is a great importance in education. Countries can examine this to help improve their economic state. This paper will look at two different regions, South Africa and Taiwan to give a comparison on the educational state of their countries. By looking at these two regions, the educational system of a least developed country (South Africa) will be compared to a newly industrialized country (Taiwan) to determine the true effects that education has on the economy.

SOUTH AFRICA (LDC)

With this being said, education has proven to be one of the influencing areas to the positive contribution to a country's economy. With this fact, countries should put a focus and goal to improve their education system because although it can be very costly, it is an investment that will yield a better return in the future. The Reviews for National Policies for Education: South Africa (2008) writes that "it makes schooling compulsory for all children from the year they turn 7 to the year in which they turn 15 (or the end of grade 9, whichever comes first)" (p. 39). However, even with this implemented compulsory education, there are still millions of kids who do not attend school. Kennedy (2007) states that "some 46 million African children--nearly half the school-age population--have never set foot in a classroom, according to the United Nations" (para. 5). But why is this so when children are mandated to attend school?

The governments of South Africa have continually tried to improve and develop a better education system. However, although South Africa has already and is still continuing their efforts in providing education for their people, there are still many obstacles that its people face that prevents them from attaining this goal. The government of South Africa according to the Education Challenges in South Africa and LDCs (2011) writes that African governments have made continuous efforts such as developing the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) program, improving literacy in South Africa, and abolition of primary school fees throughout the country. Also a report by UNESCO states that over the past ten years, the budget for education has increased by six percent annually. However, even with all these programs less developed countries like South Africa face more difficult complications and challenges as they try to improve their country's education that can hopefully one day benefit and help their country's economy. Some of the hardships Africans face with sending their children to get a higher and better education is the costs, quality of education they receive, impacts of family attributes to the pursuit of education, and the difficulty of retaining the children to continue their education.

One of African's biggest challenge and continuing issue is retaining the school enrollment. Based on the recent Education Statistics in South Africa 2012 (2014), "the average test score for Grade 9 learners was 43. …

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