How Urbanization is Defining the New Generation

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Urbanization is one of the defining words of the new generation. Since 2008, more than half of the world population resided in cities and towns. By 2030, that figure is set to grow to 5 billion, about two- thirds of the population. Currently over one billion children live in an urban environment worldwide. Urban environments are unique, often said to “attract and generate wealth, jobs and investment, and therefore are associated with economic development.” The figures and statements used to generalize these urban areas are incredibly misleading, with poverty and aging education infrastructure over shadowed by small percentage of high preforming and wealthy individuals. Detailed data collected in urban areas would show that one of every three urban dwellers live in subpar environments, often in close proximity to crime, poverty, unhygienic practices, and over-crowded facilities.
The complex nature of urban environments, and the rapid increase in urbanization, place stress on weak education infrastructure. Close proximity to poverty, ill health and lack of cognitive stimulation during childhood weakens the educational foundation even prior to formal education, a phenomenon witnessed worldwide by 200 million children under the age of 5. Similar strains carry on into grade school. Economic status, ethnicity, and gender deter 67 million children from attending primary school. Urban educational facilities are often overcrowded, under staffed, and labeled as poor quality, leading parents to pressure their children to follow paths away from education. Private schools offer engaging curriculum and safe environment for cognitive growth, however the steep price and social stigma bar many children from participating. T...

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...abuses to children follow them into their homes, with both developed cities like Moscow, Russia, and developing cities like Dhaka, Bangladesh, showing high percentages of abuse and violence at homes. Education stands as empowerment of children in urban areas, and gives them the tools to better themselves and their community. Higher percentages of education in urban communities forms a “bedrock of sustainable development” and “safer, more resilient and stable societies, greater economic returns and growth for individuals and societies, and a formation of responsible citizenship.” The benefits of urban education are endless, and the social and economic growth extends from children in cities, to the entirety of the nation. However the variety of issues that surround the infrastructure of education within urbanizing areas, must be addressed to facilitate growth.
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