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Education, poverty and schooling: a study of Delhi slum dwellers

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posted on 2023-06-08, 18:09 authored by Yuko Tsujita
Poverty reduction and Education for All (EFA) are important policy issues in many developing countries as they are both Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As the existing literature suggests, education positively influences poverty reduction, while poverty, or low income, adversely affects the quality and quantity of education. Accordingly, if education fails to facilitate poverty reduction, the following generation’s schooling is likely to be adversely affected, thus perpetuating a vicious education–poverty circle. It was against such a background, and employing a mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis, that this study investigated the relationship between education and multidimensional poverty at an individual as well as household level, and the influence of deprivation on children’s education, in the context of the slum in Delhi, India. The thesis reveals that education – particularly primary and middle schooling – enhances the earnings of male slum dwellers in particular, the overwhelming majority of whom suffer from informality and instability of employment. It also emerges that education plays an important role in the ability to participate with confidence in the public sphere. At the household level, education proves to have a positive association with monetary poverty, but a higher level of education per se does not necessarily facilitate escape from non-monetary poverty. In such a nexus of poverty and education, the thesis found that household wealth in association with social group and migration status tends to be positively correlated with child schooling, education expenditure, and basic learning. There may be a chance of escaping poverty through education, but such a likelihood is limited for those households that are underprivileged in terms of caste and religion owing to slow progress in basic learning, as well as migrant households due to lack of access to schooling. The thesis concludes by proposing some education policies drawn from the major findings of the study that may be implemented in the Indian slum context.


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