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The Effects of Poverty on Educational Attainment of Children

Investment in education depends on the demand for and supply of education, the demand being affected by benefits of education and supply by costs of education. In Bangladesh, social benefits of education are especially high for primary level, but for individual households in rural areas it is the secondary education that gives high returns. Private costs of education at primary level are negligible because of state subsidies and low opportunity cost in terms of foregone earnings of children.
But for higher studies the cost is not that much low as in the primary or secondary level. Both direct costs and opportunity costs rise at higher levels. This is evident from our data and previous discussion on the progress of education among the poor households. The higher participation rates of girls may be explained in terms of lower opportunity costs for girls than for boys. However, some researchers claim that the benefits of girls´ education seem to have increased because of improved employment opportunities as well as higher demand for literate girls in the marriage market. Another reason is the public support for female education in Bangladesh that has reduced private costs. In spite of the positive development inequality in the access to education is acute in rural areas. Poor households find it difficult to keep their children at upper grades of primary school because of the high opportunity costs. According to his multivariate analysis of factors determining the incidence of dropout at primary level, three variables are found statistically significant - non-existence of child labor, State-ownership of schools and regular disbursement of teachers´ salary. Poverty also affects the outcome or achievement in school negatively.