Education for the urban poor
Policy making for education in developing countries has in many cases not yet caught up with the implications of increasing urban poverty. Education indicators are typically much better in urban than rural areas, hiding the often vaster inequalities within cities, where the richest and poorest live side by side.
I have set up the Education and Urban Poverty website as a place for research and news on this theme. (Contributions would be welcome!)
In this post - http://edurbpov.blogspot.it/2012/04/research-agenda.html - I set out what I see as some of the most pressing questions for research and policy:
1. What can we say with existing data? Do household surveys like DHS and MICS cover the urban poor, including marginalized groups like those who live in slums and recent migrants?
2. What access do the urban poor have to education, and what are the barriers?
3. Is education a path out of poverty? Cities may be centres of economic opportunities, but can the urban poor avail of these, with or without an education?
4. What happens inside schools? Are urban poor children stigmatized by their backgrounds? Or supported and treated equally?
5. What type of provision? NGOs often step in where government school provision fails, tailoring their services to the circumstances, such as timetables that allow for children's work. But where are the models of NGO programmes that coordinate well with government services, avoid being cast as second-rate education for the poor, and help young people find better jobs afterwards?