Don urges mass education for poverty reduction
A Professor at the Department of Sociology, Covenant University, Ota, Patrick Edewor has called for more investment in the education sector to combat high fertility and rapid population in the country and Africa. He noted that a vigorous pursuit of education, especially for the girl -child, particularly in the north, coupled with social and economic development would stem the rapid rate of population growth.
Edewor maintained that high fertility is associated with poverty, adding that the poorest countries of the world usually have the highest fertility rates.He spoke at the 16th inaugural lecture of the institution, titled: “Be Fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth: the motivation, the costs and the gains,” held at the university’s chapel.
The scholar noted that education is the best contraceptive, saying it would increase the age at marriage for the female and change the lifestyles and world-view of the people. He said: “Educated women engage in occupations that are incompatible with childbearing and rearing. Education will cause couples to become knowledgeable about family planning techniques.
“It will enhance women’s status and create a more egalitarian relationship among couples that will foster inter-spousal communication regarding family size and family planning.”He added that schooling would also alter traditional high fertility norms, as educated people are less likely to depend on children as a means of old-age support.
“They are less likely to have son preference that could lead to high fertility. Their children are more likely to survive; hence, they do not need to have many children as insurance against infant and child mortality”
He noted that with high fertility, there would be a preponderance of young persons, which would lead to high dependency burden.“High dependency burden will lead to low propensity to save, which will, in turn lead to low investments. Low investments will lead to low capital formation which will create unemployment and eventually lead to poverty.”
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