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Are we poor due to a lack of education or are we lacking education because we are poor?

2 kidsAll data outlines the image of a vicious circle from which we cannot escape. Romania is the second poorest country in the European Union according to the latest statistics provided by Eurostat.

In our country, 40% of the population is currently at risk of poverty and social exclusion, while 48.5% of children are currently living in poverty.  Lack of money is felt strongest in villages, where half of Romanians reside. Some of them live in conditions that would appear to Western observers as something pulled straight out of the Middle Ages. 

The study conducted by World Vision Romania, shows that 2 out of 3 rural households are facing "a state of extreme poverty and a lack of basic necessities". This is supported by figures which show that 66.1% of Romanians in those living in rural areas don't have enough money to live on, or they have barely enough to live on a month to month basis. Poverty translates as such, into a lack of education, poor health and a poor diet. This in turn causes Romanian children from rural areas to choose the shortest and most uncertain roads in life, just to have some money in their pockets: abandoning school to go to work in the fields. And so a vicious circle forms, “the new generation of poor”, who in turn will battle with poverty, with the thought that maybe someday, they will have sewers, running water, or the chance to be able to wash themselves every day.

Around 45% of the entire Romanian population live in villages, meaning almost half of the population is affected by this weak link in the chain which in turn threatens the development of new generations. Out of all those living in villages, two thirds are threatened by the stigma of poverty and recognise that they are faced with an acute lack of money to be able to provide a decent standard of living.  The study conducted by World Vision Romania demonstrates that most of the Romanians from rural areas barely manage to cope, with them either not having enough money at all or having just enough for their monthly needs.

We're going around in a vicious circle in which malnutrition, lack of education and low employment levels ensuring that poverty remains the status quo, with children being affected the most. 

48.5% of Romanian children are currently living in poverty without proper food and no access to education. Thus "new generations of poor” are a result of the lack of education.

Are we poor because we lack an education or do we lack an education because we are poor?  A clear answer to this question does not exist, because we are facing a problem that does not seem to have an answer and it only gets worse with time. The lack of education feeds the acute poverty status in which many Romanians are living in rural areas and this starts with children giving up on school.

In 2014, more than 18% of Romanian children decided to abandon their studies, a percentage that places us well above the European average of 11.1% of early exits from the educational system. This only means that their chance to overcome their conditions and to have a better life has finished before it even started. Thus, poor children today are choosing to work in the fields to buy a loaf of bread or to take care of household animals, leaving education to appear to rather be, a luxury."

 

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