Is poverty the main reason affecting a child’s education? What are the main factors behind it?
Poverty is damaging children’s education. Poverty is the biggest obstacle to student’s educational success and it does affect learning. If children are coming to school hungry, then they are not going to be able to focus. Children come to school cold, wearing inappropriate clothing and become unwell, hindering their progress. It is totally unfair for those children and distressing for everyone working with them. How can the government say we have a strong economy when so many children are living in poverty? We need much better support for schools in poorer areas along with policies that address the causes of poverty such as low wages and overpriced housing. There are many effects of poverty on education like in many countries where Child-Fund works, school is free but there are additional costs for uniforms, books and transportation, especially in rural areas, where a student may travel more than an hour each way by public bus to school. The expenses may be too much for a family to pay, on top of all the money the family loses by not sending a child to work or even marrying off a daughter.
Some countries’ governments also spend a lower share of their gross domestic product on education, which makes public education less available and of lower quality. Overcrowded classrooms, broken desks, lack of computers all are common sights in school districts with budgets that don’t meet students’ needs. Teachers burn out or may be unqualified to teach certain subjects. All of these challenges create a serious disadvantage for children growing up in poor households.
There is a great importance of education in a developing country that cannot be overstated. Education can be the catalyst needed to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. Knowledge gives children the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education, which in turn will help generations to come.
Education also makes a significant difference for adults, particularly when it applies to day-to-day life, including nutrition, healthcare and gender equity. When adults learn, they become role models to their children, who also wish to learn.
Poverty As a Global Issue:
Put simply, gender is one of the biggest reasons why children are denied an education. Despite recent advances in girls’ education, a generation of young women has been left behind. Over 100 million young women living in developing countries are unable to read a single sentence. At least one in five adolescent girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict and discrimination. Poverty forces many families to choose which of their children to send to school. Girls often miss out due to the belief that there is less value in educating a girl than a boy. Instead, they are sent to work or made to stay at home to look after siblings and work on household chores. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear that every child has the right to a free basic education, so that poverty and lack of money should not be a barrier for schooling. In many developing countries over the last few decades, governments have announced the abolition of school fees and as a result seen impressive increases in the number of children going to school. But for many of the poorest families, school still remains too expensive and children are forced to stay at home doing chores or work themselves. Families remain locked in a cycle of poverty that goes on for generations. In many countries in Africa, while education is theoretically free, in practice ‘informal fees’ see parents forced to pay for ‘compulsory items’ like uniforms, books, pens, extra lessons, exam fees or funds to support the school buildings. In other places, the lack of functioning government schools means that parents have no choice but to send their children to private schools that, even when technically ‘low fee’, are unaffordable for the poorest families who risk making themselves destitute in their efforts to get their children better lives through education.
Poverty as a National issue:
Poverty is an uncomfortable word. I’m often asked, “What should I expect from kids from low-income households?” Typically, teachers are unsure what to do differently.
Just as the phrase ‘middle-class’ tells us little about a person, the word poverty typically tells us little about the students we serve. We know, for example, that the poor and middle classes have many overlapping values, including valuing education and the importance of hard work. But if poor people were exactly the same cognitively, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally as those from the middle class, then the exact same teaching provided to both middle-class students and students from poverty would bring the exact same results.
Poverty has a high rate in Pakistan and poverty really affects education. There is need of better educational system in Pakistan. Hope is a powerful thing. Research suggests that lower socioeconomic status is often associated with viewing the future as containing more negative events than positive ones. Low or no expectancy (“helplessness”) is also related to low socioeconomic status. In short, being poor is associated with lowered expectations about future outcomes.
Poverty as a Personal issue:
I am more convinced than ever that the failure to address inequality is resulting in the shrinking of the middle class and the significant growth of poverty is at the core of the challenges facing educators, health care workers and public service employees. This inequality is starkly evident in higher education. Where soaring costs, shrinking financial aid and underfunded educational opportunity programs have made earning a college degree increasingly difficult. Many students from low-income backgrounds work hard to get into college. But staying often poses an even bigger challenge.
Effects of Poverty on Education considers the impact of poverty on academic achievement. Course content includes effective ways teachers may empower students to overcome the barriers to learning that result from enduring the impact of poverty. For my last project of the year in English class, I chose to study the effects of poverty on a student’s academic success and the relationship between education, unemployment and homelessness. I wanted to learn more about this issue because I do not feel that I know enough about people who are suffering from poverty because of my middle-class upbringing. I also know how important it is for everybody to receive an education so they can do well in life. A student’s social class should not have an effect on the quality of their education, because everyone needs to be educated and literate to survive later on. People need to know about this devastating issue and do something about it even if they are not affected by it!
Solution to Poverty:
Education in all different forms is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. It has an uplifting effect on other aspects of society that may seem totally unrelated, such as girls’ education lowering the number of prenatal deaths. The relationship between poverty and education is complex, but we know that education helps people make healthier and smarter decisions about their children, their livelihoods and the way they live.
Education also has a significant role in the fight for children’s rights, both in teaching children what they can and should expect from adults, and in showing adults the benefits of respecting their children’s rights. In Timor-Leste, children have stepped forward to advocate for their rights in school through the Children Against Violence project. Touring around the country, they raise awareness of corporal punishment through theatrical drama. In this and many other cases, education is a powerful tool that can make the world a better place.
Written by: Zersha Ali