Don’t worry, even rich people get disappointed when they don’t meet their goals, proving they are human beings as well. Bill and Melinda Gates, widely known for their philanthropic deeds, aren’t afraid of getting real when it comes to their works.
The couple, whose combined net worth will make your eyes pop, has been helping the world in the past years – this is a fact that should be celebrated. In the last two decades, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has shelled out $53.8 billion on varying causes, from economic development to public health.
The amount is certainly not a joke and what they have done is admirable, but the pair isn’t that happy with the outcome of their program, particularly with the result of their efforts on education, which they spent 16 percent of the mentioned sum on. According to their annual letter called Why We Swing for the Fences, Bill and Melinda said that this was far from what they anticipated.
Melinda shared that 20 years ago, they thought public health was the hardest to tackle and education as the easiest, but as it turned out, it was the exact opposite. She went on to write that there have been major improvements in the field of health, like the drastic decrease in childhood deaths; whereas with education, they haven’t felt the impact they wanted to achieve.
The foundation’s education initiatives aim to increase the population of Latino, low-income, and black students in college; ease college access; and increase graduate rates. The prominent couple has been spending billions on this cause since 2000, but has not yet seen the fruit of their labor.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the graduation rate of American college students has been 60 percent for decades. Bill and Melinda understand why their objectives weren’t met.
First, they pointed out that there’s no consensus among those who want to improve the field. Unlike in health where there’s a common understanding that if a child receives vaccines, they will have protection against diseases, there’s no agreement on the cause and effect on education.
Then, there’s also a struggle on the scale: in comparison, funding vaccination clinics is not like supporting a student’s 13-year journey in school. Despite their frustrations, the couple still wants to solve the problem of education by focusing on a new approach by using techniques tailored to the different needs of the institutions they are trying to help.