The Effect of Poverty on Educational Development of Citizens



THE EFFECT OF POVERTY ON EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITIZENS.  A CASE STUDY OF FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, OKO, STUDENTS.

There are some notable conditions prevalent in the poor countries or in the life of the poor. As stated by Ozigboo (2001) poverty is a general phenomenon that affects physical, moral and psychological conditions of man. Those conditions are termed features which among them include:

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  1. Low standard of living: In a poor country or poor family, the standard of living is at its minimal level. Standard of living here I mean those things that make life worth living. It is those facilities or materials one needs in his/her life to support his living. As a result of low standard of living, one cannot eat a balanced diet, live in a ventilated and cosy environment.
  2. Underdevelopment: This is a situation where the natural resources are more than the population of the people who could not effectively harness them to address their political and economic problems thereby remaining in their poor condition. According to Abah (2000), for a country to be termed underdeveloped it implies that the economic potentials of the country or region have not been fully developed. The people cannot make any meaningful moves towards advancement, modernization, civilization and globalization of every aspect of their lives.
  • Vulnerability: The people languishing in abject poverty and exposed to some many environmental hazards as they could not resist to any of them. As a result of this, the life expectancy is however shortened the poor and subjected to every kind of suffering and afflicting as physical and emotional development are stunted.
  1. Low per capital income: Per capital income is the money which is legally accruable to every citizen of the country. It is measurable by dividing the Gross National Product (GNP) with the population. The per capital income explains how buoyant the economic base of a country is and condition of living of its inhabitants.
  2. Deprivation: The poor people, if not where there is good judicial proceedings will be deprived of all their belongings are right. This is because they are medically, financially, morally and psychologically impeded and weak even where there is judicial rigidity, the poor do not have sufficient fund for eating let alone for litigation, they cannot go to court.

 

2.2  CAUSES OF POVERTY IN THE SOCIETY

Poverty cannot just come like that, it must have had something else that brings it into existence. As George and Lawason argued “the proximate reasons for poverty are not difficult to establish. They are unemployment, low earning, old age, sickness and large families.

From this excerpt, it can be seen that the following are the causes of poverty.

  1. Low earning: Mostly in Nigeria, the working class does not earn much. They cannot even earn what will be sufficient for the sustenance of their respective families let alone saving some amount for future use. Owing to this, there is no meaningful investment taking place in such homes and this then aggravates their states of impoverishment.
  2. Large families: This has been identified as the major causes of poverty in Nigeria. A man who does not have a solid means of livelihood will be able to go to the extent of marrying up to four wives who will in turn give birth to “hundreds” of children. This affects both the father and the members of the family as they can only live from hand to mouth.
  • Old age: When somebody gets old, he is poor except a situation where the person has made provision for his old age. This poverty is because he cannot go out in search of what to take in or put on.
  1. Sickness: Definitely anybody who is sick or medically down cannot fend for himself. He remains poor through out his sick period.
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These points above are not only the causes of poverty as the researcher was made to understand by Batcheder (1999) who contended that “Most of the people in the world are poor because they live in areas in which natural resources and output are low relative to population or where population is large relative to output”. With the contention of this writer, insufficient deposit of natural wealth also causes poverty. An area will have its inhabitant’s poor if its natural resources are low in comparison to their population. Therefore, if the natural deposit is average with the population, a reasonable standard of living is assured.

  1. Policy inadequacy: The policy of the government determine actually what the living condition of the people will look like. Even if the natural resources are every where and their policy is inadequate, the people can never get themselves free from poverty crunch. For instance, in Nigeria here, majority are poor while there is high deposit of natural and human resources.

Therefore, the poverty is as a result of the inadequate policy formulation and implementation. In this condition, the people will remain poor until when the policy makers desist from formulating obnoxious policy. ECPER Journal recognized this problem when it said “The victims of inappropriate and banking policies are millions of hard-working Nigerians and their dependents, government ministries and parastatals” Osagie (1998).

 

  • THE EFFECT OF POVERTY ON EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITIZENS

Poverty has brought hardships on the citizens. The effects of poverty as identified by Chikwe (2001):

  1. Examination Malpractice: Poverty has help greatly in the promotion of examination malpractice in the Nigeria institutions of learning. As a matter of fact, any student who frantically gets his fees paid must try to pass examination through every possible means.

Meanwhile, those students on the course of looking for money for the extortionate fees might have missed all the valuable and important lectures thereby having no other alternative rather than to indulge in examination malpractice.

  1. Public examination like West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO) because they know that if they are left to write the exam themselves, they must definitely fail as they had little or no education in their primary and post primary schools, and the money for another enrolment may not be available again. ECPER Journal has this to say: “Education standards in Nigeria have plummeted dramatically since the introduction of SAP in 1986. In the absence of Lobbyists to fight for educational system, that sector has been operating with inadequate resources. Facilities for teaching and research are grossly inadequate and in many areas non-existent, our degrees are no longer recognized. Our education system has failed to make education oriented towards solving problems and producing graduates capable of creating employment opportunities for themselves and for others”.
  • Untimely death of the students: The students have become the major victims of road accidents and money making ritualist. The students in many occasions abandoned their studies so as to travel to their respective homes in order to collect some amount of money to shudder some of their educational responsibilities. On the course of this trip they get involved in ghastly motor accidents or run into some unscrupulous individuals such as 419ers and ritualist thereby reducing the number of potential educationist in Nigeria.
  1. Armed Robbery and Prostitution: Many students have been caught severally on the act of armed robbery on Nigeria high ways, some are killed in the process and others escape with heavy wounds and injuries which may render the person valueless in life. Their female counterparts indulge in prostitution and on the process contact the dreadful disease, AIDS which had defied every medical combat both orthodox and traditional, “Chikwe (2001)”.
  2. Tattered and Shabby clothes: A research carried out has shown that almost 90% of the students go about in second hand clothes popularly known as “Okirika” or “OK”. They dress tattered and shabbily to the classrooms. This type of dressing has some psychological effects on them when they see their counterparts from other countries being neatly dressed. This reduces student attention and focus on education.
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  • EFFORTS TO ALLEVIATE POVERTY

The immediate and past governments have some attempts towards poverty alleviation. In this work, some of these programmes have been discussed:-

1)     Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP): This is a poverty alleviation scheme by the wife of the former military head of State General Sanni Abacha in 1997. The objectives of this establishment is expected to be achieved through resources – based investment in cottage industries by the low income groups. If the intended cottage industries are established for the families that benefit from the scheme, their income is expected to drastically improved. Also, the GNP per capital for this country will increase and job opportunities will be created. The specific strategies for poverty alleviation include:

  1. a) Improvement in family income:- The idea behind the introduction of the Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) is that a family would register itself as a co-operative society so as to enable it benefit from the training and loan schemes of the programme.

The program or scheme also ensures acquisition of skills, provision of employment and value addition to local resources. It makes the family to be able to live above the poverty line through the use of those skills acquired to fetch what should be taking by the family.

  1. Improvement in GNP per capital: FEAP is expected to held in the improvement of the GNP per capital through the boost of the economic activities in the country. In the view of this, ECPER (2001) said “FEAP is a means of alleviating poverty via structural economic reforms and growth maximization”
  2. Reduction of the number of poor people: Through FEAP about 10,000 cottage industries are expected to be established every year. Also, about one million to two million jobs are expected to be created. It is assumed that whoever is employed by these cottage industries would be earning something reasonable to enable him/her to live above poverty line.
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2)     Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP): This programme was established in the year 2000 under President Olusegun Obasanjo Administration. This programme as its name implies is expected to alleviate poverty in the country. This has almost the same objectives and articulated strategies with FEAP but PAP mainly has to do with the Nigeria Youth so as to enable them fend for themselves not relying on their parents after their graduation from institution of higher learning.

The programme was later changed to National Poverty Eradication programme (NAPEP). Some poor people were paid and Youth also acquired some technical skills and were later supported with some machines and implements, all these are for self-reliance and sustenance get poverty eradicated.

However, it is worthy of note to say that all these attempts made by the government have not yielded any fruitful results because of their poor implementation. The insincere rich men and their wards were also beneficiaries of the monthly payment set out for the poor. Eghosa (2002).

 

  • SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW

The researcher made unrelated effort to discuss extensively on the concept and definitions of poverty as given by various authors.

Also the researcher equally traced the numerous problems encountered by the citizens with particular reference to Federal Polytechnic Oko students in Anambra State. The researcher stated clearly that the causes to the problems ranged from low earning, large families, old age, sickness and policy inadequacy.

In addition, knowing fully well that there is no problem without solution, the researcher made all necessary effort to provide solutions to the above mentioned problems of the citizens. The researcher made to understand that the immediate and past governments have some attempts towards poverty alleviation. In this work some of the solutions includes: Introduction of family economic Advancement programme (FEAP), poverty Alleviation Programme.

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