Poverty and Education in South Asia

  • Arif NaveedEmail author
  • Peter Sutoris
Living reference work entry
Part of the Global Education Systems book series (GES)


This chapter discusses the dialectic relationship between education and poverty in South Asian countries by outlining some of the available evidence and debates pertinent to the ways in which poverty affects access to and quality of schooling and is in turn affected by schooling. In order to understand this relationship, it is important to consider both the access to and the quality of the education available to the poor, as well as its economic and social outcomes. This chapter points out that educational policy debates are often driven by the assumption that inclusion of poor children in mainstream schooling is a solution to their poverty, a view that is often challenged by sociologists of education who point to the gaps between the education on offer and the needs, experiences, and subjectivities of poor children. It discusses the extent to which the levels of attainment and the quality of learning are shaped by patterns of wealth distribution. It also examines what “quality” schooling might mean for the diverse populations of poor children in the region and summarizes some of the empirical evidence on the ways in which schooling affects life chances of the poor.


Poverty Inequality Economic outcomes of schooling Quality of learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of BathBathUK
  2. 2.University of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rekha Pappu
    • 1
  1. 1.Tata Institute of Social SciencesHyderabadIndia

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