Thank you for your editorial on education, the key to easing poverty (Aug. 23). This is so true! Education is particularly powerful for girls. Currently, girls are the majority of the primary-school-age children who are not in school. Yet after three years of education, for each succeeding year of education a girl receives, she earns 20 percent more money over her lifetime, she has a 10 percent reduction in her birth rate and a 10 percent greater survival rate of her children. Education is considered a social vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa, where girls with just a primary-school education have a rate of HIV/AIDS that is half that of girls who have no education. A number of new studies have also shown that education is directly connected to more democratic government.
All this for a tiny fraction of what we spend on our defense budget or our wars. If we want to change the world to be a better place, education is the clear path to hope and opportunity.
Robert C. Dickerson II