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How Does The Absence Of Education Stimulate Dangerous Behaviors?

Dailyn Molina

Global Connections

December 14th, 2016


A luxury to some, a nightmare to others- education is critical in leading a well-developed

nation into the future, but not all governments rejoice about their countrys educational situation.

The absence of education creates greater problems for a country and its citizens. Children all

over Latin America face difficulties attending schools and become vulnerable to dangerous

behaviors. Socioeconomic status, joining the workforce and incompetence facilitate these

dangerous behaviors to be carried out. Unnecessary violence can be prevented by ensuring that

children receive a quality education where gender, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status

are of no importance. Governments worldwide should strive to provide universal education

through national programs and more funding. A child should have the opportunity to gain skills

by attending school and building relationships that will lead them to a thriving career. Education

is the solution that will help less developed countries and their citizens live safely and successful,

and will decrease crime by putting a stop to its main factors.


Table of Contents

Abstract 2

Table of Contents 3

Introduction 4

Literature Review 4

Limitations 7

Discussion 7

Conclusion 13

References 13


Educationan irreplaceable human right, enjoyed by most, foreign to others. The

absence of education in a child's life affects their options to succeed in the future and creates

irremediable damage to themselves and to their nation. Building schools builds peace and

prosperity, but the lack of education can stimulate dangerous behaviors by creating

socioeconomic gaps, child labor, and incompetency. Dangerous behaviors being gang affiliation,

violence, drug usage, etc. In Latin America alone there are 22.2 million children or adolescents

not attending school (Hickner, n.d). The 61 million young children out of school are vulnerable

to many hazards, and will have a much harder challenge becoming successful (Education First,

n.d). This paper will study the obstacles faced throughout the world, specifically in Latin


With no proper education students seek out unconventional ways to make a living. The

easiest way being joining gangs. In America alone there are over 1 million young people aged 5-

17 in gangs (Juvenile Gang Members, 2015). This is in a country where receiving education is

the norm, and the opportunity to attend school is much less challenging than in other countries.

The lack of education hinders the ability of a person to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Whereas an

educated person may know about the harm of drugs, alcohol, and violence, an uneducated person

has no exposure to the effects and consequences caused by it. This paper will explore why it is

that dangerous behaviors arise, and the holes that the lack of education leaves in the world.

Literature Review

The resources focused on in this paper are grouped into these main factors: threats that

limit education, and the consequences. According to a press release by the United Nations

Childrens Fund (UNICEF) the lack of safe water and sanitation limits the ability of a child to

learn in less developed countries. The press release goes on to mention how providing a healthy

environment to these children can eliminate the astonishing 272 million school days missed in

year because of hygiene-related diseases such as diarrhea.


In the article Causes of Poverty written by Anup Shah states that over 3 billion people

live on less than $2.50 a day. This is a factor that hinders education because children are then

forced to work to sustain their families. Child labor prevents the advancement in education and

limits the time a child can attend school. In the Huffington Posts Right to Education Denied,

the inability to leave families to study also obstructs education, as the lost paycheck would put

the family at an economical risk.

In a publication by the Global Citizens, 10 Barriers to Education Around the World,

they state that the lack of funding for education is a pivotal element that challenges the world.

Funding is a key component to an effective education. Another barrier the article makes known is

the low availability of trained teachers and teachers in general.

Another source, The Issues Affecting Global Poverty: Education, also agrees with that

fact, going on to state that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, 1.4 million teachers are needed. These

sources are essential to the authors research, as it puts into perspective the factors that impede



Having an overwhelming absence of education is grave, the consequences prove to be

threatening to the future. According to an article written by Miguel Cruz, The Transformation of

Street Gangs in Central America, he writes about how gang violence impacts life in Central

America. The author believes that there is a direct correlation between increasing gang violence

and the lack of education. An estimated 51,000 young Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans

are affiliated with gangs. Having a low quality educational system in these countries is making

those numbers rise by the second.

Lack of education can be as deadly as smoking written by Sarah Knapton provides an

interesting comparison between education and smoking. The article states that the lack of

education can take away about ten years of your life, just like smoking can. The author believes

that this research is yet another reason why the implementation of education is beneficial and

crucial to developing countries.

The Causal Impact of Education on Economic Growth focuses on the more economical

side of education. The research states that education benefits the economical growth of a country.

For this reason, governments should not hesitate to fund education, as it will only help their

economies grow.

According to a study conducted by M.N. Christoffersen and colleagues, An upbringing to

violence?, unemployment and lack of education leads to youth violence. The researchers

concluded that unstable education causes the youth to carry out violent acts and become

convicted offenders. The study also points out that familial factors and unemployment

contributes to the violence. The author notices how this is a never ending cycle, but providing

education will help break it


This paper has many limitations that the author could not avoid. The author intends to

eliminate all potential bias, and has taken time to ensure the credibility of the paper. The author

has been exposed to the stable education system in the United States, but will still find credible

sources that depict the situations elsewhere.

Research has been conducted to the best of its extent, but the author realizes that there is

a limited amount of research about education and its effects. There are not many sources that

focus on this specific topic, but through correlations and connections the author was able to

successfully gain a large amount of data. Time restraint also limits this paper, being that the

author can not study a specific education system and keep track of the students and their future


The author also takes into note that they are not an educator nor have studied in any

mentioned country or region. Having done so could have added another connection or more data.

Another limitation is the inability to have experienced the faults in education abroad and how

countries or citizens are dealing with the issue firsthand.


Education is impacting the lives of millions of children whether they receive it or not.

Research has shown that the absence of education leads to youth revolt and friction within a

country (Christoffersen, n.d). The lack of schooling results in socioeconomic gaps, child labor,

and incompetence. Low quality education is a threat to the world and should be an issue tackled

by the world. Although educational systems vary worldwide, the highest standards should be

enforced, but sadly this is not always the case.

Knowledge allows a child to discover the world and dream about a better future. With

education the confidence and ability to succeed increases, and also proves beneficial for

themselves and their country. Research conducted indicates that the economic growth of a

country can increase as more educated people join their workforce (Aghion, 2009). Governments

need to become aware of that fact and strive to fund their educational systems.

Socioeconomic Class

The growing socioeconomic gap in the world is increasing as the poor find no escape nor

opportunities. The richest 10% of people in Latin America make up 71% of the region's wealth,

and by 2020 the top 1% will have more money than the remaining 99%. According to Oxfam,

between 2002 to 2015 the billionaires of the region grew by 21% each year, a surprising

revelation considering that one in five Latin Americans live in poverty (Ibarra, 2016). While it is

a fact that the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped, it is not enough to allow

children to attend school regularly.

There is without a doubt a correlation between poverty and education. Family income can

be a strong predictor of a child's success within the classroom and outside of it. The few

resources a child facing poverty is available to makes it difficult for them to focus solely on

education. Surviving is likely the only motivation that can fuel the children and education

becomes their last thought. A child that cannot concentrate on their studies prevents any form of

movement from their socioeconomic class (Poverty and Education, 2016). Education is the tool

that will help dig families out of the cycle of poverty, and into the cycle of prosperity.

Disadvantaged families are usually characterized by unemployment and little education,

this makes it challenging for their children to advance in their society. According to a study

conducted by Christoffersen, most first time convicted offenders come from these disadvantaged

families. Children raised in poverty face difficulties in their everyday life, which in turn makes it

difficult to perform well in school.


On top of performing poor in school low socioeconomic status often face emotional

social instability. In many instances disadvantaged families tend to face more teen pregnancy and

inadequate health care (Jensen, 2016). In order to sustain their families children are being

obligated to give up their education and goals toward success (Shah, 2014). A bigger family

means more mouths to feed, which prompt the need for child labor, and unfortunately, criminal

acts. Violence is the result of built up frustration, and the strive to survive. In school these

children will gain the knowledge they need to know that there are other ways to make a living

and how to break free from their socioeconomic situation.


Under qualified teachers are found all throughout less developed countries, and pose

another major issue for the advancement of societies. The quality of training a teacher goes

through correlates with a childs academic success (Education and Socioeconomic Status, 2015).

There is little to no selectivity when it comes to choosing teachers in Latin America. In Mexico,

70% of teachers failed their nations teacher examination, and in Brazil one third of their teachers

faced difficulties passing high school.

Countries where the value in quality of education are made a priority show that only

dedicated teachers are acceptable. There is inadequate training of teachers, which are supposed to

be the ones that teach the children of the world. Teachers should not have to struggle in the same

subject that they are teaching (Facts and Figures). Finland, a country with exceptional education

only permits the entrance of the top 10% university graduates into the teaching profession, and

South Korea accepts only the top 5% (Hickner, 2013).

Schools in the region are unfunded and uncared for, which make it challenging for

students to find motivation to attend. Global education is becoming more unfunded every year,

and the struggle to allocate teachers is also a grave issue. Estimates made by the UN indicate that

there are over a million teachers are in need today (Global Citizen, 2014). Unskilled teachers or

no teacher at all, the troubles within education make it difficult for students to learn and prosper.

With 71 million teenagers out of secondary school, the frustration and tension rises as they seek

for informal ways to make a living (United Nations Educational,2012).

Attending school allows a child to interact with peers and adults and is essential for their

well-being. The social relationships a child gains while attending schools influences their

behavior greatly. The lack of basic social skills makes it extremely difficult for a child to develop

healthy relationships (Jensen, 2016). These skills are crucial to a childs future and come into

play in their day to day life.

More than 20% of of young people in developing countries lack skills for work (United

Nations Educational, 2012) The absence of education can also be as deadly as smoking, taking

off a total of ten years from a persons life. An uneducated person is unaware of the health

hazards presented by smoking or consuming other drugs, and often it leads to their death.This

incompetence makes it difficult to have a healthy and successful life.

Child Labor

The International Labour Organization defines child labor as any work that poses a threat

to a childs well-being, or intrudes on their schooling. Living on $1.25 a day is a great hardship

which results in the youth to begin focusing more on day to day survival and not their future. In

Latin America 12.5 million children aged 5-17 are take part in child labor (Findings on


Most of these children work in agriculture, but many times children are forced into

crueler labor such as working at dumpsites, firework manufacturing, mining, and even sexual

exploitation. Often times children are forced to leave their homes by local gang members. These

gang members then force them to become involved in criminal activities such as drug trading,

and armed robbery (Child Labour in Latin America, n.d.).

Children are being robbed not only of their education but of their childhood in order to

provide an additional paycheck for their families (Tauson, n.d.). A child cannot leave the

workforce to attend school because of that inability to leave their families. Tuition on top of the

expense of uniforms and materials make it impossible for a family to send their children to

school (Reshef, 2011). In order to sustain for their families children seek more unconventional

ways of retaining money. Joining a gang might seem like the best choice for someone living in


Instead of attending school, children in Latin America are compelled to join the

workforce at an early age. Education is the solution to preventing child labor in future

generations. Children that begin to work young become attracted to the pay and want to increase

their earnings by any means possible, even if it includes robbing, selling drugs, or even murder.

Teaching these children the significance education has and how it will impact their futures will

ultimately prevent the increase of criminal activities and allow the citizens and their country a

push towards success.


Violence is being committed by the youth at an alarming rate. About two-thirds to three-

quarters of offences carried out by young people are gang affiliated. Deadly weapons are

becoming increasingly available throughout the world, particularly in the Northern Triangle of

Central America (NTCA): Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The limited access to

education and opportunity triggers the growth of these gangs and makes them impossible to

eradicate (Youth and Juvenile Justice). El Salvador- a country not at war has a ninety per

hundred thousand homicide rate, this is because of the rise in gang-related activities.

Though poverty rates are lower than previous years, violence is still increasing, making

Latin America one of the most violent regions in the world (Muggah, 2015). Some would argue

that economic growth is the key to preventing violence, but this is clearly not true. Education

can make the biggest difference to stopping crime rates. A more educated public would allow the

corruption that happens inside countries to drop, and allow justice to be served to the fullest

extent. Education will also allow inequality and unemployment to diminish, and let equity


As of 2013, there are 2.3 million people that were born in the Northern Triangle, but

reside in the United States (Park, 2016). The deportation of thousands of these civilians back to

their home country in the 1990s is said to have sparked the uprisings of gangs in the NTCA. El

Salvador and Guatemala distraught by the civil wars that had just taken place, were vulnerable to

the corruption and violence that the gangs would bring. The instability allowed youth members

to gain easy access to weapons and begin constructing what now dominates their country, gangs

(Kent,2016). Organized crime grew rapidly, leaving behind human rights, order, and the cure for

its issues- Education.


Over 20 million children in Latin America are being deprived of their education. These

children know nothing else but the struggles to survive and vulnerability to dangerous acts. The

lack of education prompts the growth of undesired effects such as socioeconomic gaps,

incompetence, and child labor, which then lead to the rise of criminal activities. The road to

success begins with a foundation in education, but these children are faced with an unsuitable

environment that only hinders their progress.

An impoverished child cannot attend school. An incompetent child cannot learn skills for

their future. A working child cannot focus on their studies nor advancement. Unfortunately, that

child can seek out other means to survive by joining a gang and carrying out malicious acts of

violence. Building schools is the solution needed to prevent one more death in the world.

Through education a persons live can change drastically by allowing them to advance in life and

giving them a prospective future.


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