Advancing Education to Change Lives

Education is said to be the key to success. This does not only apply to individuals, it is also for the benefit of society at large. Education is an important factor in promoting many societal aspects; talk of health, economic growth and women empowerment. There is a lot the society can benefit from education.


Education benefits people’s health throughout their entire lives, from a mother’s pre-birth lifestyle to the likelihood of developing diseases later in life. Women with at least six years of education are more likely to use prenatal vitamins and other useful tactics during pregnancy, thus reducing the risk of maternal or infant mortality. Also, the child of an educated mother is twice as likely to survive to the age of 5 as an uneducated mother. Finally, mothers who have received an education are 50 percent more likely to vaccinate their children at early ages than mothers with little or no education.

Economic Growth

By educating an entire population, economic growth is a natural effect. Studies show that each extra year of schooling can increase a person’s salary by 10 percent later in life. This means that a country’s GDP can increase by 1 percent annually by providing education to its entire population. Increasing a country’s GDP creates innumerable opportunities for trade and development.

Empowers Women and Girls

Education has proven to benefit women and girls at a higher rate than boys. The empowerment that girls receive from an education both personally and economically is unmatched by any other factor. Women who are educated are usually better decision makers and have higher self-confidence. They are more knowledgeable about how to care for their families. Studies show that in Kenya, if female farmers were provided the same amount of education and resources as male farmers, crop yields could increase 22 percent. This idea can be applied globally.

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In promoting education, students’ motivation has to be on the top of the list as they are central to the whole issue of education. This motivation is based largely on feedback; this is what makes the students able to measure their advance and willingness to do even better.

Be as Specific as Possible

In a review of the available research titled “The Power of Feedback,” University of Auckland professors Helen Timperley and John Hattie highlight the importance of supplying learners with specific information about what they are doing right or wrong.

The Sooner the Better

Numerous studies indicate that feedback is most effective when it is given immediately, rather than a few days, weeks, or months down the line.

In one study that looked at delayed vs. immediate feedback, the researchers found that participants who were given immediate feedback showed a significantly larger increase in performance than those who had received delayed feedback.

Involve Learners in the Process

The importance of involving learners in the process of collecting and analyzing performance-based data cannot be understated. Pennebaker says:

Students must be given access to information about their performance . . . At the broadest level, students need to know if they actually have mastered the material or not. Giving them information about the ways they are studying, reading, searching for information, or answering questions can be invaluable.

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Education takes more of commitment and discipline to achieve substantial development through the system. This comes easy if the students take the initiative to spearhead education promotion. Training them to take the responsibility of their own learning can go a long way in helping advance education.

Encourage goal setting and reflection.

Help students to define goals for their learning. Provide opportunities for ongoing self-evaluation and reflection. Provide constructive, specific feedback.   Student blogs are great tools for reflecting on learning and responding to their peers.

Focus on learning, not work.

Make sure you and your students know the reason for every learning experience. Don’t give ‘busy work’. Avoid worksheets where possible. Don’t start by planning activities, start with the ‘why’ and then develop learning experiences which will support independent learning.  Include appropriate tech tools to support the learning.

Organize student led conferences

Rather than reporting to parents about their children’s learning, have student led 3-way conferences, with teacher and parents. The student talks about her strengths and weaknesses, how her learning has progressed and areas for improvement. She can share the process and the product of her learning.

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