Comparing Education in Laos and the U.S.Team PoP August 9th, 2012
One of our high school interns, Tyler Russo, recently returned from a donor trip to Laos and noticed some extreme differences between education there and education in the U.S. When he returned, he sat down to take a closer look at these differences and wanted to share the discoveries he made with our supporters! Read below to learn more…
Education has been one of the main reasons why the US has had economic success. Specifically looking at the data above, we can see that education and the increase of high school graduates has directly given money to the US government through an increased annual salary. In contrast, the lack of education that some Americans have has caused an increase in crime as the majority of inmates in the US do not have high school diplomas. The main downside of the correlation between a lack of education and crime is that the government spends a large amount of money on corrections every year. Another difference between college graduates and high school dropouts is that dropouts generally use Medicaid much more than those who have completed college. Therefore, the government has benefited from educated individuals as they do not have to pay for their Medicaid as often, and receive large amounts of money from them in the form of taxes. On the other hand, a lack of education has forced the government to pay for college and high school dropouts in the form of corrections.
Education has also had a profound effect on the prosperity of future American citizens. Since an increase in education has caused eventual wages to increase, it is apparent that the amount of education that an individual has is consistent with their wage. This is clearly beneficial to the person who is receiving a higher wage, the country’s economy, and the child of that educated person. It has been proven that educated individuals are more likely to better educate children, allowing education to be continued in each family. Education has then not only benefitted those who receive higher wages because of it, but also the children of those people.
Another benefit that countries with high amounts of educated people receive is a lower fertility rate. Education has been proven to correlate directly with fertility rates around the world. Generally, the more education that a woman has, the less children she will have. This is important to both the family and the country that the woman is a citizen of because the fertility rate of a country has been proven to be directly related to how wealthy that country is. One example of this correlation is in India where the poorest state has a very large fertility rate and two of the richer states have very low rates. Based on these facts, countries such as Ghana, Brazil and India have attempted to lower their fertility rates significantly while wealthier countries have not. Since education is directly related to fertility rate, and fertility rate is directly related to a country’s wealth, it is clear that an increase of education will increase a country’s wealth.
This education is specifically important in Laos because an increase in education would also allow many individuals to learn the official Lao language which would allow them to receive jobs in the main cities. For example, in order to work in Luang Prabang, one of the wealthiest cities in Laos, one must speak Lao fluently. As another example, in the Xongja Village, the large majority of the students speak Hmong while a minority speaks Khmu. Meanwhile, none of the students in the Xongja Village are able to speak Lao, and they are unable to take jobs in wealthy Lao cities because of it. Therefore, since everyone in Luang Prabang speaks Lao, it is necessary for the children in the Xongja Village and many other villages to receive an education in order to have the opportunity to work in the main Lao cities.Donate