Poverty as a concept does not carry economic connotations but also has social, humanistic, political and cultural dimension. When one talks about poverty one takes into consideration the economic deprivation faced by a person in his life. However as Durkheim pointed out that one social fact must be studied in the light of other social facts and how one affects the other. Looking into this concomitant relationship between poverty and education, one can say that in India poverty is more common than prosperity because of lack of education facility especially to children. Poverty has a multitude effect on the learning process as it acts as a bulwark in the psycho-cognitive development of the child. It restrains a child to completely participate in the knowledge exercise which hampers his behavioral pattern.
India provided for Right to Education to all children from 6-14 years of age and engendered that process even in private institutions through reservation of 25% seats. However it has not been able to produce the desired result because of extreme economic deprivation on the part of families availing this facility.
Poverty has a direct impact on the school enrolment and dropout rate of students. Due to extreme poverty, where the survival of the family is at stake, parents are forced to send their children to work. A child is seen as a productive labour resource as against schools. Most of this psychosis is built on short term interest without looking into the long term benefits of education.
Poverty also leads to denial of basic facilities like sanitation, nutritious food and clean drinking water. This subsequently effects the mental and physical growth of the child which consequently leads to worse educational indicators. It has been pointed out in a report that most of the shunted children have low mental stimulus abilities and prone to diseases. This is because the faceal matter often mixes with water and food which decreases the nutrition absorption rate. This is a grave situation for educational enrolment as most of time is spent either in hospitals or home. The success of Mid day meal Scheme in increasing the gross enrolment holds testimony to the fact that how poverty and food hinders the institutional access of knowledge.
There has been growing tuition and coaching industry. As pointed out by different studies, RTE has been able to provide the access to education which lacks the quality Most of the government schools lack trained teaching facilities and infrastructure. However well off class compensate this through supplementary methods like coaching etc. But most of the children belonging to economically backward sections have no access to tuitions and coaching centers due to lack of resources and whooping fees.
Further, it has been a old prognosis that children suffering from poverty also suffers from poverty of knowledge and they cannot develop the requisite skills with other counterpart. This leads to a behavioral difference from the teachers. Whether children work at home or outside, their effort to juxtapose work-related responsibilities with classroom routines makes their life at school topsy-turvy. Absence from school or inability to focus makes a direct impact on performance. Once a child starts to lag behind others, he or she becomes a relevant object of stereotyping by classmates and teachers. That renders a child alienated from the social milieu and leads to higher dropout.
All the factors developed above require a coordinated approach from the central and state government and also requires the sensitization of teachers and civil society organization about the basic needs of such children who suffers from poverty. There is a need to regulate the unorganized sector and develop a perspective about the long term benefits of education to economically backward sections. The teachers must be given proper training so as to create awareness and develop humanistic attitude towards such children. Poverty is a social sin which will always haunt the development ideology of the country but one can guarantee a phased success by providing better education to children so that they can grab the opportunity in the organized market whenever they are available.