Examining Child Poverty in TunisiaLocated in the northern region of Africa, Tunisia is home to some of the most beautiful places in Africa. There are picturesque coastlines and crystal-clear waters that are visited by people around the world. Although home to such beautiful sceneries, Tunisia has a history of child poverty in its regions. Tunisia, like many developing countries worldwide, has room for improvement in regard to child poverty, especially as children aged 0 to 14 make up 23% of Tunisia’s population.

Tunisia’s Economic Background

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Tunisia has strong growth potential. Just in the past few decades, Tunisia’s social and economic status has improved significantly. The average annual GDP grew by 5% and poverty went down from 60% in 1960 to 4.2% in 2000.

Tunisia has also introduced some budget reforms to improve its economic development. Tourism is a particular focus in the development of Tunisia’s economy. Thousands of people visit Tunisia every year and contribute to the country’s economy. With youth unemployment rates in Tunisia at a high, Tunisia’s government seeks to mitigate economic challenges.

Improving Childhood Education in Tunisia

An economy can impact a country’s education system in several ways. An often useful productive development strategy is to improve schooling levels within a nation. Whether it’s a lack of resources or funding from the government, it’s a focus of countries around the world.

Despite the economic status that Tunisia is currently in, the country does have the potential to recover, as we mentioned earlier. This economic relief would advance childhood education in Tunisia.

Since 1956, Tunisia has been focused on developing a good education system. Education is an important focus for the Tunisian government. About 20% of the government’s budget is allocated to its education system. In early 2018, the Tunisian Ministry of Women and Children partnered with Fun Academy to help develop high-quality education for Tunisian children. This is one of the strategies the Tunisian government is taking to improve the education system.

How Education Impacts the Economy

Educating young children so they can enter high school and college can positively impact a country’s economy. In fact, there are several ways the economy can be impacted by a lack of a proper education system. One of the ways we typically think of is by not having enough people in the professional field. It’s important for Tunisians seeking education to gain the skills to work in the professional field.

This includes early childhood education which will subsequently lead to a better economy. According to an article by Investopedia, education and training are important factors when improving a nation’s economic development. Additionally, employers in Tunisia can face training program increases as well as productivity in the professional field.

Tunisia’s education system is similar to many countries around the world. Tunisia currently spends about 20% to 30% of its national budget on education. In 1998, about 1.5 million kids were enrolled in primary school. At the time, there were about 4,349 primary schools open in Tunisia. These schools were taught by approximately 59,430 teachers and averaged at about 24.6 students per classroom. By the late 1990s, most kids were getting through primary school. Tunisia continues to build its focus on education and development projects.

Child Poverty in Tunisia

In many nations, children living in different parts of a country can have different amounts of education. Tunisia currently has a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to improve human development and its main focus is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve universal primary education across Tunisia, advance child and maternal healthcare and establish environmental stability. While working on improving these aspects of the nation, the government also focuses on child poverty reduction in Tunisia.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, Tunisia may be able to reach its goals and highlights positive progress and new opportunities. Additionally, the National Solidarity Fund is trying to develop funds for vulnerable citizens in Tunisia. Tunisia is working on development programs to improve education and poverty reduction efforts across the country.

These development programs are anticipated to help local economies and build better infrastructure in the country. As previously mentioned, Tunisia has the potential to become an economically developed nation with good childhood education and resources for citizens in the country. By tackling child poverty in Tunisia, the country can improve its education system and alleviate national poverty.

– Amina Aden
Photo: Flickr