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Skip Navigation LinksHome The Impact of Education

The Impact of Education

African boy and blackboard

​Boy learning in classroom.

​​​​​​The equivalent of more than 200 million school years are lost each in low income countries as a result of ill health, and the impact on learning and cognition is equivalent to a deficit of more than 630 million IQ points.

School Health and Nutrition (SHN) programmes contribute to health outcomes and are a cost effective intervention for school access and completion.

The Impact of Education

Education is fundamental to sustainable development, it is a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health; it enables people to be more productive, to earn a better living and enjoy a better quality of life, while also contributing to a country’s overall economic growth. Education is critical for breaking the poverty cycle and its importance is reflected in the commitments of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA).​

The Links Between Health and Education

The links between health and education are reciprocal; not only is good health important for children to make the most of their educational opportunities, but the educational setting (both formal and informal) can be important in promoting good health. Compelling evidence indicates that good health and nutrition are prerequisites for effective learning. 

SHN interventions have been shown to improve children’s health and nutrition as well as their learning potential and future life choices.  Health promotion can happen directly through teaching health and nutrition knowledge and practices, as well as indirectly with education itself acting as a “social vaccine” as in the case of HIV prevention​ for example. 

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