Paul Lachine

失去的一代又一代

纽约—一国的经济成功取决于其国民的教育、技能和健康程度。当一国年轻人身体健康、受到良好教育时,他们就能找到高薪工作,赢得尊严并成功地调整渡过全球劳动力市场的波动期。企业会增加投资,因为它们知道员工生产率很高。但世界上有许多国家没能应对好保证每一代儿童获得基本健康和优秀教育的挑战。

为何如此之多的国家不能很好地应对教育挑战?一些国家太穷,无法提供优质教育。父母亲自己也许也没有受过充分的教育,这让他们在孩子入学一两年之后便无力供养,这导致了文盲和科学盲代代相传。多子女家庭(比如有六七个孩子的家庭)的这一困境尤为突出,因为父母亲在每个孩子身上的卫生、营养和教育投资极为有限。

但发达国家也做得不好。比如,美国残忍地对最贫困儿童的惨状熟视无睹。穷人生活在贫民区,上烂学校。他们的父母亲通常是失业者、疾病缠身、离婚甚至入狱。尽管总体而言美国已经进入了丰裕社会,但儿童却陷入了永恒的代际贫困循环。穷孩子通常最后会变成穷大人。

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