1.1 Background Of The Study

Poverty is a worldwide issue as affirmed by Ibrahim, (2007) which affects people at varied depths, and degrees at various times and stages. It is seen by Ajegi, (2004), as the world’s most serious challenge to peace and security, outweighing terrorism and other widely recognized conflicts. Over eight million people according Borgen(2013), die in the world at large each year, because they are too impoverished to survive. The United Nations Development Project (UNDP) projected that around 1.4 billion people were living in extreme poverty in 2010.

Despite Nigerian government’s poverty eradication initiatives, national development plans, and sessional papers as postulated by Hiffe(2011), poverty remains a serious concern in the country. He further acknowledged poverty as a huge danger to Nigerians’ existence.

The term “poverty” has no formal definition because several conceptions have been established by various scholars. One among them is Brooks-Gunn(2006), who pin pointed that poverty may be classified into three distinct types. These are extreme poverty, moderate poverty, and relative poverty. Extreme poverty, he claims, exists in homes whose fundamental survival needs are fully unfulfilled. Such families are continuously hungry, unable to get health care, lack utilities such as safe drinking water and sanitation, are unable to afford education for their children, and are unable to provide accommodation for their families. While moderate poverty as asserted by Duncan(2017), refers to living situations in which essential needs are supplied but only just barely. He also posited that relative poverty is the inability of certain segments of society or individuals to meet their basic needs in comparison to others. Many Nigerians live in extreme poverty, which manifests itself in the absence of fundamental standards of health, nutrition, shelter, water, and sanitation, as well as other necessities for survival, well-being, and participation in society (Klebanov, 2004).

Additionally, poverty can be systemic at times. By systematic, it implies that poverty distinguishes a certain portion of the population through hunger, insufficient income, powerlessness, low education, and disease(Mayer, 2004).  For example, if a parent is impoverished, the children’s chances of becoming poor are delimited. The poor parent does not own land, have money to educate his or her children, and commonly has a big family that is undernourished (Obadan, 2007). Hence, families are faced with the challenge of deciding whether to send their children and young family members to school or compelling them to work to generate much-needed revenue(Yunusa, 2008). In light of the above, this study is devoted to determining the effect of poverty on the educational development of children in Kogi State.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Poverty has been a major concern in Nigeria and other African countries. It prevalence as pinpointed by Hanson, McLanhan, & Thomson(2010), is more than just a lack of money since it entails a lack of options and possibilities to live a quality life.

In Nigeria, poverty has been on the increase at both the regional and national levels as observed by Yunusa(2008); this was visible through the high unemployment, high income disparity, low quality human capital, a large percentage of the population on welfare, and high migration despite significant economic growth as measured by GDP. Thus, individuals living in poverty are unable to achieve their fundamental needs, such as nutrition, basic health, and education.

In Nigeria, public concern has been on the increase regarding the consequences of poverty on children. Children from low-income families, in particular, are more disadvantaged educationally and in other ways. In agreement to this, Baldwin (2006), stated that children from low-income families typically enroll in school behind children from more wealthy backgrounds. This is obviously indicated through the measures of school readiness indicators. Additionally, the prevalence, depth, duration, and timing of  poverty, as emphasized by Feinstein(2003), has an impact on a child’s academic achievement and overall development. Over the last decade, inequalities in family incomes have expanded in Nigeria, as the depth of poverty for certain households has equally increased(Hanson et al, 2001). This incident is considered detrimental to children. This study is therefore aimed at examining the impact of poverty on the educational development of children in Kogi State.

1.2 Objectives Of The Study

Generally, the study is aimed at examining the impact of poverty on the educational development of children in Kogi State. The study will be guided by the following specific objectives:

  1. Ascertain whether poverty affects children’s accessibility to education in Kogi State.
  2. Determine whether poverty affects the participation of children in academic activities.
  3. Determine whether poverty influences children’s school readiness in Kogi State.
  4. Ascertain whether poverty affects the educational attainment of children in Kogi State.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following question:

  1. Does poverty affect children’s accessibility to education in Kogi State?
  2. Does poverty affect the participation of children in academic activities?
  3. Does poverty influence children’s school readiness in Kogi State?
  4. Does poverty affect the educational attainment of children in Kogi State?

1.5 Significant Of The Study

This research work is relevant as it will expose the need for poverty alleviation in the country and heighten awareness about the threats poverty poses to the educational development of primary school pupils.

The knowledge gained in this study will help us to understand the extent of the damage caused by poverty to educational development and ways through which the anomaly can be ameliorated.

At the end of the findings of this work, the recommendations proffered will be of great use to the government if implemented.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of poverty on the educational development of children in Kogi State.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

Generally, this study is geared towards examining the effect of poverty on the educational development of children. The study, however, will specifically ascertain if poverty affects children’s accessibility to education in Kogi State; determine if poverty affects the participation of children in academic activities; determine if poverty influences children’s school readiness in Kogi State; and ascertain if poverty affects the educational attainment of children in Kogi State. Thus, respondents for the study will be obtained from the teachers of selected primary schools in Kogi State.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Poverty: This is a condition where individuals are not able to cater adequately for their basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, cannot meet social and economic obligations,, lack gainful employment, skills, assets and self esteem which result in limiting the chances of advancing their welfare to their fullness capabilities.

Education: This is the act of teaching knowledge to others and the act of receiving knowledge from someone else. Education also refers to the knowledge received through schooling or instruction and to the institution of teaching as a whole.

Educational Attainment: This is a term commonly used by statisticians to refer to the highest degree of education an individual has completed as defined by the US Census Bureau Glossary.


Ajegi, S.O (2004). The affluence of poverty: A critical evaluation of Nigeria’s poverty reduction programme. A text paper presented at the second Annual National Conference of the School Sciences, College of Advance and Professional Studies.

Ibrahim, M.S. (2007). Perspectives on poverty and poverty alleviation strategies for Nigerians. Nigeria Economic Society.

Baldwin,(2006). Deprivation and child abuse: Implications for strategic Planning children’s services. Children and Society.

Borgen, C. (2013). Review of the causes and consequences of poverty in the United States. The Future of Children.

Feinstein, L. (2003). Inequality in the early cognitive developmental of children.

Hanson, T., McLanhan, S., & Thomson, A. (2010). Economic resources, parental practices, and child-wellbeing.

Hiffe, J. (2011). The Africa poor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brooks-Gunn, J., & Klebanov, P.K (2006). Consequences of living in poverty for young children’s cognitive and verbal ability and early school achievement.

Duncan, G.J. (2008), Consequences of growing up poor.

Klebanov, P.K. (2004). Does neighborhood and family poverty affect mothers parenting, mental health and social support? Journal of Marriage and Family, 56(2), 441-55.

Mayer, S.E. (2004). What money can’t buy: The effect of parental income on children’s outcomes? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Obadan, M. (2007). Analytical framework for poverty reduction: Issue of economic growth versus other strategies.

Yunusa, M.H. (2008). Incidence of poverty in Nigeria: Cause and consequences.



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