“Education is the passport to the future”, said American human rights activist, Malcolm X. In the past decades, it is one which is gradually becoming a reality for children across the globe.
Astonishing progress has been made with more children than ever before in history in school. But that doesn’t mean attendance is universal or that sending children to school isn’t a struggle for many families to meet the basic costs.
Our research shows that the rise in global migration is making a difference. As remittances from increased migration are estimated to have risen to a record $689 billion in 2018, more money than ever is flowing into education. In fact, as many as 3.5 million children are likely to be in school because of the financial support that family and friends living abroad are sending home.
Not only are these remittance receiving families more likely to have children in school and to spend more on their education, but these children are also less likely to be working either in the family business, on household chores or in other forms of labour.
Yet, the impact could be greater still. If all remittances were sent digitally, as much as $825 million dollars could be unlocked for families to spend on education because digital transfers are - on average - 30% cheaper than traditional cash-based methods. For full methodology see here.
Overall, our findings are in line with the findings of the education experts at UNESCO whose recent Global Education Monitoring report estimated that lowering costs of remittances to 3% would unlock an additional $1 billion dollars for education. You can read more about our methodology here.