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Dhaka Tribune

An increasing slum-cycle, a widening education gap

Update : 18 Feb 2016, 11:54 AM

Only 58% of slum inhabitants over the age of 12 are literate among the slum population of Bangladesh, a recent article by The World Bank has stated.

Education enrollment of the slum population is overall lower than non-slum dwellers, both in the rural and urban areas, the report states.

“Even within same municipal area, children in slums are less likely to enroll in school, and more likely to drop out than children just outside the slum,” the report reads.

The slum population in Bangladesh, especially Dhaka, is ever-increasing due to sky-high dreams of a better lifestyle in the cities and urban areas. Annually, Dhaka receives a staggering 500,000 migrants from the villages who move for the economic opportunities in the cities as well as because of the poverty in rural and coastal areas. The report further states that it is estimated that by the year 2030, more than half the population of Bangladesh will migrate to urban areas.

With such statistics and predictions – especially when they come out to be true – it is only expected that most of these migrants will fall through the many loopholes of migration and fall into the trap of a slum livelihood. And slums are “poverty traps”, as the report aptly states.

“While 55% of urban slum households are poor—a share larger than in rural areas – 23%of slum occupants live in extreme poverty,” the report reads. “There is compelling evidence that slum-related factors make it particularly difficult for households to climb out of poverty.” 

The slum cycle can be vicious. As migration sky-rockets, and more and more people flock to the cities and urban areas to avoid poverty, lack of facilities, and to engage in a more intense workforce, the slum population in the urban areas grows even wider – and its problems spread in ripples. The widening education gap only adds to the problem. While schools such as The Jaago Foundation are addressing the need for education of slum children, it is imperative the policy makers take into account the growing challenges of the slum populations, and address them so as to prevent them from delving deeper into the poverty hole.


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