Improved education is fundamental to prospects for economic and social development and the end of world poverty. There are few jobs beyond subsistence for people who are illiterate and innumerate. A lack of education is thus a sentence to a lifetime of poverty. When girls and boys drop out of school before completing primary school, or leave primary school without having acquired basic skills, they cannot earn their way in a competitive world economy and they have less capacity to rear healthy, educated children. An essential role of government is to ensure that every child in society, boy and girl, has the opportunity to complete quality primary basic schooling--and that a substantial proportion also completes secondary education. Abolition of school fees and special incentives to get the most marginalized groups into school can be powerful tools in attracting out-of-school children to primary schools. For example, cash and in-kind subsidies (such as school meals using locally produced foods) for extremely impoverished households, orphans, and girls, can promote school attendance at the primary and secondary levels. In instances where the supply of schools is the binding constraint, this will require constructing new classrooms and hiring new teachers.

In the MV Sim, children can enroll in school at the age of 5. Primary school lasts for 6 years, and secondary school lasts for 6 years. In order to attend secondary school, the child cannot have opted out of going to primary school during any period. While primary school is free, secondary school is not, and costs the parents a constant amount while the child is enrolled. Individuals with higher levels of education have higher labor productivity.

For more information:
UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality