If all children were allowed equal access to education, per capita income would increase by 23% over 40 years, according to recent data from United Nations organisation UNESCO.
Their research reveals that education across the world has an “incomparable” capacity to diminish extreme poverty and increase development goals.
The study, of which final results will be known in January 2014, also shows that if all women had a primary education, child marriages and child mortality could fall by one-sixth and maternal deaths by two-thirds.
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, said: “The findings released today confirm more clearly than ever that education can transform lives and societies for the better. The world’s education goals are very much an unfinished agenda, however. This new evidence should give us all renewed energy to complete what we set out to do.”
She added that to propel the “transformative” power of education, new development goals must go further to ensure that all children benefit equally not only from primary education but also from good quality secondary schooling.