Categorized | Featured, National News

“Education Reduces Crime,” Says PM

The rate of crime falls when the rate of education rises, therefore education is the key to overcoming the challenge of violent crime, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie.

The prime minister’s comment came yesterday as he discussed the challenges associated with building a prosperous Commonwealth, as he officially opened the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers at the Atlantis resort.

According to Christie, Commonwealth countries cannot yet claim to have achieved a stronger, more equitable approach to development because the countries continue to struggle with violent crime within their respected borders.

“While the world’s murder rate has dropped by 19 per cent in the past eight years according to the United Nations, smaller countries such as mine continue to struggle with violent crime,” Christie explained.

He also noted that the United States 2010 Census show that a black man with a high school diploma was 70 per cent less likely to be imprisoned than a black man without a diploma.

Also the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its 2014 Education at a Glance Report indicates that the more a person learns, the more that person will earn.

“So throughout the industrial world, a high school graduate earns 10 per cent more than the OECD average,” Christie added.

“A vocational college graduate earns 30 per cent more and a university graduate 70 per cent more. In its 2013 Health at a Glance Report, the OECD shared a statistic even more worthy of our attention. Women who obtain a university education degree live an average of four years longer than women who do not. Among men, higher education adds an average of eight years life expectancy.”

However, Christie said crime is not the only challenge, but the disparity between rich and poor countries continues to be dangerously acute.

According to the 2014 Credit Suisse Data Book, the world’s top one percent now controls 48 per cent of global wealth.

But, Christie noted that the challenges go even further, as Commonwealth countries invest in building a modern Commonwealth, in which they can deliver world class services and programmes to their citizens.

He added that Commonwealth nations are obliged to confront the painful reality that unacceptable disparities still exist in some of the most basic indicators of human development, such as life expectancy.

“Given these challenges and the enormity of them, it is not an overstatement to say that for this week at least you are an integral part of the world’s most important international gathering at this time,” Christie told the delegates attending the opening ceremony.

“All the evidence points to the fact, that education holds the key to overcoming these challenges.”

He also told the delegates that their work at this week’s conference can make the difference between freedom and incarceration, employment and unemployment and life and death.

“When we realize that education is the most powerful way of improving a person’s life, we will be more deliberate in our efforts to not only provide access to quality education, but to find ways to engrave into the psyche of individuals and whole communities the value of education,” Christie said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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