Affects that climate may have on society can easily bleed onto almost all components of life, especially in areas that are most affected. In some cases, even access to a proper education can be one of the serious repercussion, reports Heather Randell of the Nicholas School of the Environment to PhysOrg.
“Investments in education are an important pathway out of poverty, yet lack of access remains a barrier,” she said during her presentation to the Nicholas School.
Despite the fact that the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015 originally aimed to secure a universal education at the primary school level for children of school-age, around 20% of youths in Sub-Saharan Africa are still not in school as of this year.
Using data compiled from Ethiopia’s Rural Household Survey, the graduate student found that children who experience mild temperatures or lush rainfall in the early stages of their life, it is more likely that they will continue their schooling for longer. This can potentially be because of correlations between climate changes and the economy in rural areas, such as what is seen in parts of Ethiopia.
Economies based on agriculture are dependent on rainfall and the rise and fall of temperatures. Higher temperature as well as decreased rainfall result in a lower yield of crops, which then decrease the incomes families receive.
With a less disposable salary, families tend to spend more of their money providing necessities such as food and clean water than on fees for schooling. Families often then pull their children out of school so they can also work and contribute to the now lower income.
Randell ended her talk after stating that in order to make a permanent change when it comes to access of education, the only way it can work is through policy changes. Schools need to be cheaper, more accessible, and families also have to take on the responsibility of learning to generate incomes outside of climate-based agriculture.