Paul Lachine

Les générations perdues

NEW YORK – Le succès économique d'un pays dépend de l'éducation, des compétences et de la santé de sa population. Quand ses jeunes sont en bonne santé et bien éduqués, ils peuvent trouver un emploi rémunérateur, atteindre la dignité et réussir à s'adapter aux fluctuations du marché du travail mondial. Les entreprises investissent davantage, sachant que leurs travailleurs seront productifs. Pourtant, de nombreuses sociétés à travers le monde ne parviennent pas à assurer la santé de base et une éducation décente pour chaque génération d'enfants.

Qu’est-ce qui explique que de nombreux pays ne parviennent pas à relever le défi de l'éducation ? Certains sont tout simplement trop pauvres pour fournir des écoles décentes. Les parents eux-mêmes peuvent ne pas avoir une éducation adéquate, les rendant incapables d'aider leurs propres enfants au-delà de la première ou deuxième année de scolarité, de sorte que l’illettrisme et l'ignorance sont transmis d'une génération à l'autre. La situation est encore plus difficile dans les familles nombreuses (par exemple, six ou sept enfants), parce que les parents investissent peu dans la santé, la nutrition et l'éducation de chaque enfant.

Pourtant, certains pays riches échouent également. Les Etats-Unis, par exemple, laissent cruellement souffrir ses enfants les plus pauvres. Les pauvres vivent dans des quartiers pauvres avec des écoles pauvres. Les parents sont souvent au chômage, malades, divorcés, voire même incarcérés. Les enfants sont pris au piège d’un cycle persistant de transmission intergénérationnelle de la pauvreté, en dépit de l'abondance générale de la société. Trop souvent, les enfants qui grandissent dans la pauvreté deviennent des adultes pauvres.

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