Poverty Case Study

Topics: Poverty, Economics, School Pages: 4 (1268 words) Published: June 16, 2013

The concept of poverty, when applied in both developing and developed country contexts, needs to be broadened beyond a uni-dimensional concentration on a person’s lack of financial resources. It is widely agreed that the relationship between poverty and education operates in two directions: poor people are often unable to obtain access to an adequate education, and without an adequate education people are often constrained to a life of poverty. However, before addressing the interrelationships between poverty and education, it is important to discuss the concept of poverty. Poverty has many dimensions and does not merely entail low levels of income or expenditure. The work of Amartya Sen (1992, 2001) has broadened our understanding of poverty by defining it as a condition that results in an absence of the freedom to choose arising from a lack of what he refers to as the capability to function effectively in society. This multidimensional interpretation moves far beyond the notion of poverty as being solely related to a lack of financial resources. For example, Sen’s viewpoint would suggest that inadequate education could, in itself, be considered as a form of poverty in many societies. Many studies in developing countries have shown that access to education differs depending on income level. Systematic investigation of this difference across countries is now easier using Demographic and Health Surveys, which have been carried out in many developing countries. Such studies show large differences in enrolment in Grade 1 in many countries, but also that fewer poor children remain in school to higher grades (Filmer & Pritchett, 1999 & 2001; Orazem, Glewwe & Patrinos, 2007, p. 18). More affluent people in urban settings are often better located to gain access to schools as there are sometimes few schools in the poorest rural areas of developing countries. This is reflected in the lower proportion of students starting school. In addition to...
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