How Poverty Affect Education

How Poverty Affect Education

How Poverty Affect Education- Like it is widely preached and believed, education is the key, education is light, education secures the future, etc. However, there are some factors that stand in the path of people that wants to get good and quality education. One of such critical factors is poverty. Poverty is a serious menace that not only impact education negatively, but some other aspect of living. However, in this article we would be looking at how poverty affect education and what can be done to arrest the situation.

How Poverty Affect Education

What Is Poverty

Poverty is simply a condition in which a person or group of people is being deprived  or lacks access to basic resources necessary for living. Most times, people measure poverty by income level. When the income level falls below a particular threshold, such an individual can be termed poor. However, poverty just goes beyond lack of income or low income. Absence of basic facilities (such as education, decent housing, clean water, electricity, etc.) that promotes good living can also be termed as poverty.

Poverty is a menace that can have adverse effects on individuals, communities and even a nation. Poverty affects the physical and mental health, relationships, education , in short the general wellbeing of a people.

5 Major Ways In Which Poverty Affect Education

As good as education is, with its beautiful prospects, poverty is one serious factor that can stand in the way of education. Here are some of the ways that poverty affect education:

Insufficient educational resources

In communities/ towns being ravaged by poverty, access to good and quality education is quite difficult. In such places, there are not enough schools to take the population of children (you can agree with me that impoverished communities tend to have a denser population than those that are not impoverished). So, the few schools that exist in such communities don’t have enough resources to go round the students. Texbooks, computers are examples of those resources that are in shortage as a result of poverty. Also, extra-curricular activities that is supposed to help build the students and make them balanced may not be available because of lack of fundings.


In impoverished areas, food shortage is always the order of the day. Kids don’t get enough food to eat, and even the little they eat may not contain the needed nutrients that will enhance proper growth and development. Malnutrition is what eventually results. Malnutrition can cause cognitive impairment, affecting negatively the ability of a child to learn, retain information and also concentrate in class.

Access to quality education is limited

Poverty affect education in such a way that it limits access to quality education. In areas ravaged by poverty, where eating decent meals twice a day is an issue, surely education wont be a popular phenomenon in such places. Even if the education is made free, the parents may still have to incur some cost which may not be available. Moreso, quality education usually come with some financial implication such as tuition fees, textbooks, stationeries, transportation, feeding and other miscellaneous costs.

Moreso, inadequate funding may hinder school owners from being able to hire enough qualified teachers and provide a learning environment that is conducive for the students.

Poverty can cause in conducive living conditions

In a community/ nation ravaged by poverty, the indigenes may not be able to live under good and healthy conditions. Overcrowding, poor housing and absence of basic amenities like clean water are some of the challenges being encountered. Such inconducive living conditions can lead to health issues especially in children . This can negatively affect the academic performance of these children and may even cause some of them to miss school.

Increase in crime rate among youths

When children from poor homes are made to go to school, it can increase crime rates even among the students. Imagine a child being sent to school on an empty stomach, such a child can be tempted to steal. And thats how it begins until it graduates into a more serious crime.

Handling Poverty In Education

Having considered the importance of education and its positive impact on the individual, society and the world at large, there must be a way forward. Education cannot be shoved aside because of poverty. The next big question is how do we tackle the effect of poverty on education. But before we talk about that, let me briefly state the meaning of education and its importance.

What Is Education

Education is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and values. Education can occur in a formal setting like schools, college, and universities. Education can also take place in informal and non-formal settings e.g workplace, communities, etc. The primary goal of education is for empowerment of individuals to be able to fend for themselves and also make positive impact in the society.

Importance Of Education

  1. Education brings about financial security
  2. It is one of the most powerful weapons to make your dreams come true
  3. Education increases your self-confidence and self-worth
  4. It brings about economic growth
  5. Education brings about stability
  6. Education increases your options in life
  7. Education is a defence
  8. Education brings about growth and development of a community and nation at large.
  9. There is opportunity to get high-paying job and live comfortable lives
  10. The more educated our society is, the safer it is to live.

Here are some ways that the impact of poverty on education can be mitigated:

How The Effect Of Poverty On Education Can Be Reduced

Adequate educational resources should be made available

No serious learning can take place without materials like textbooks, stationeries, etc. Thus it is important that adequate resources are made available. Kind-hearted individuals, communities and government can assist schools especially in poor areas with the procurement of these materials.

Schools need financial support

To own and manage a school successfully can really be a huge and capital-intensive project. Even though students pay tuition fee and some other commitment, such may not be enough to run a school. Some extra funding might make things easier. Funding from individuals, NGOs, religious bodies and even government will go a long way to make education more accessible.

Aside financial aid to the school, scholarships and grants can be made available to the students. Most especially the brilliant students whose parents earn low income.

Learning environment should be supportive and conducive

When the learning environment is more conducive and supportive, students will be excited to leave their homes and come to school. They will be motivated to learn and retain knowledge. Also, positive relationships between students and teachers can also make learning more interesting. And the presence of co-curricular activities is another big motivating factor for students to remain in school.

Mentorship and guidance

Mentorship and guidance should be made available for students , most especially those from poor backgrounds. They should be properly guided and made to see why they need to stay in school to get quality education despite their poor background. Successful individuals who emerged from poor/humble background should be brought to talk to and mentor these students.

Mental and health care support should be available in schools

Poverty can really have negative impact on both the physical and mental health of the students. The school should thus provide support for these students as the need may arise. This is because it takes a mentally and physically sound individual to undergo any serious learning.

Last Note

Education is a key that opens the door to a bright future for the young ones . It is also very important for the growth and development of any nation. However, poverty is one menace that hinders education. Some of the ways poverty affect education is lack of learning materials, unconducive learning environment, poor living conditions and others. This menace of poverty has to be tackled so that everyone can have access to quality education and the world can be a better place to live.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the impact of poverty on education?

Here are some of the impact of poverty education
Inadequate learning resources
Inconducive learning environment
Malnutrition; which can be demotivating
Poor living conditions

What does poverty lead to ?

Poverty is not a positive factor in life at all. There are so many things that can come up as a result of poverty. Poverty can lead to hunger, malnutrition , sickness, outbreak of disease, homelessness, increase in crime rate, poor housing, inadequate child care and so on.

What causes poverty?

Poverty can arise as a result of several factors:
War/conflict in the nation
Poor governance
Lack of education
Absence of infrastructure/ social amenities in the society.
Unpredictable climate, etc.

How can poverty be tackled?

Poverty is a menace that must be dealt with. Here are some ways poverty can be tackled:
Proper education
Maintaining peace and tranquility in the community and nation
Good governmental policies
Adequate infrastructures in the society such as good roads, electricity, portable water, etc.

How can poverty be overcomed in Africa?

Some of the ways by which poverty can be tackled in Africa is by:
Promoting education
Increasing agricultural productivity
Launching of peace campaign most especially in warring nations
Encourage birth control among families to control the population
Availability of social infrastructures


  • www. interaction. org- The Top 9 Causes Of Global Poverty
  • www. globalcitizen. org – Understanding How Poverty Is The Main Barrier To Education
  • www. uopeople. edu – Top 10 Reasons Why Is Education Important


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