Transforming Education Means Fighting Poverty Traps

Giving all adults equitable opportunities is the goal of education in the world today. Teachers all over the world are tasked with taking up responsibilities like feeding students and providing technology and home-based internet to students in the hopes that the students succeed in a career. 

Although education seeks to provide a lot, there is still much left to be desired when we know educational inequity exists. Educators know that the COVID-19 pandemic only worsened this gap as students and families fought to engage with learning while managing jobs and providing for their families simultaneously. 

Poverty Traps 

Poverty traps are defined by Investopedia as traps created when an economic system requires a significant amount of capital to escape poverty. The article goes on to explain that it is not simply the absence of economic means. The traps are created due to a mix of factors, such as access to education and healthcare. This environment keeps individuals and families in a cycle of poverty with no ability to escape.

The UN

The United Nations’ stated goal is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” This challenging task will hopefully help the 57% of students that cannot understand complex or simple texts they may be reading. 

The UN plans to have a transforming education summit program to stop education gaps for students worldwide. Some of the goals the summit has to transform education are to get back to the basics of education with reading, writing, and numerology while also stressing civic duties and democratic values. The biggest roadblock to transforming education worldwide is a lack of educators. 69 million educators, to be exact.

Teacher Shortages 

The teacher shortage is something that gets thrown around a lot, a piece of jargon that people include in political conversations. In the context of the UN’s goals for universal education, the teacher shortage is the biggest battle. The UN projected 44 million teachers will be needed worldwide in secondary classrooms in 2030.

When developed countries like the United States are struggling to keep and supply teachers, it shows how much needs to be invested in worldwide education for primary and secondary classrooms. States are enlisting college students to fill classrooms. Ultimately, this compromises the quality of education and creates a high teacher turnover rate for classrooms at every level that needs quality instruction from a quality educator. As people try to fight inflation and be successful, the world needs access to quality programs that can offer them a career. 

What now? 

Fighting these poverty traps begins by changing the mechanism that currently exists. Re-investing in teachers that provide education seems to be the change that is necessary for education worldwide now that we have come through a global pandemic. The transformation education summit will begin addressing the teacher shortage and how to include tech to change the landscape of education worldwide. The integration of technology and education is inevitable as we look to provide universal education to many isolated students across the globe. All with the hope that people can gain careers that provide their life with meaning and the means to live their dreams. The internet meeting with education provides a meeting ground for these students to break the poverty trap, change the mechanism and rise above. 


Chen, James. 2019. “Poverty Trap Definition.” Investopedia. 2019.

Garnier, Leonardo. 2022. “Transforming Education Means Fighting Poverty Traps | by Leonardo Garnier.” Project Syndicate. September 19, 2022.

Natanson, Hannah. 2022. “‘Never Seen It This Bad’: America Faces Catastrophic Teacher Shortage.” Washington Post, August 4, 2022.

Nations, United. n.d. “Transforming Education Summit.” United Nations. Accessed September 24, 2022.

“The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update.” n.d.

2019. 2019.

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