Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic, a country that has been fighting severe poverty for decades, is making strides towards reducing poverty through multiple aspects of their society. One method in particular that has had success is by precipitating development through education. The Dominican Republic, like many developing nations, is working with organizations such as UNICEF and the Ministries of Health and Education to create a plan for education in the Dominican for the future.

The Dominican Republic is now set to be declared free from illiteracy by the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as only 176,000 Dominicans remain illiterate. Presidency Administrative minister José Ramón Peralta reported that 110,000 of those still illiterate are already enrolled in literacy centers and the remaining people are in the process of doing so.

Additionally, the Dominican Republic has taken steps to reduce the rampant rates of child marriage that cause so much poverty. More than a third of young women get married between the ages of 18 and 22 or form an informal union before age 18, which not only poses a moral issue but also an economic issue.

Limited access to education, especially among girls, is a main contributor to this issue. Many of these girls do not have access to education and therefore have few options besides marrying young. Supporting legislation such as the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act that works to provide primary and secondary education to girls in vulnerable areas can help deter child marriages and reduce poverty.

A joint effort to promote sustainability and development through education is underway in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Haitian Embassy is calling for Dominican students to submit a reflection on strategies and goals for the struggles they face and how to create a better society. Such an effort is not a quick fix solution, but is a way of promoting thinking that propels people to action. In the Dominican, this thinking has already led to results that will improve the quality of life for its citizens in the future.

Tucker Hallowell

Photo: Flickr