Poverty, Unemployment and Education
For the Fulfill the Requirement of an
Assignment of Sociology of Education
MPhil/PhD Program, Development Studies
School of Education, Kathmandu University
Rajendra P Sharma
April 30 , 2013
Poverty has various manifestations:
lack of income and productive resources sufficient to :
ensure sustainable livelihood; hunger & malnutrition
directly connected to employment
It is subjective, relative and contextual,
Hence, can be described in several ways:
BROADLY = Individuals, families and groups in the
population can be said poor or to be in poverty,
if they lack the resources to have living conditions and
amenities which are customary in the society.
Poverty can be seen in two ways
is the lack of resources that leads to hunger and physical
refers to a deficiency in material and economic resources
compared with some other population
Poverty and Unemployment: A cyclical effect
Unemployment leads to financial crisis and reduces the
purchasing capacity, this results poverty followed by increasing
burden of debt (World Bank, 2005).
A situation, in which the workers are capable of working and
willing to work, but do not get employment.
Unemployment and poverty are the two major challenges that
are facing the world economy at present
And off course in Nepal too
Types of unemployment
Moving from one job to another
when the qualification is not enough to meet job responsibilities
demand deficient unemployment, when the economy is in need of low
Contributors for poverty & unemployment
Structural changes/high population/low industrialization/ low employment
Rapid changes in technology
Ability to seek employment/seasonal work
Change in the climatic conditions
Government socio-economic policies
Information and education
Functionalist Perspective talks structural unemployment
Sometimes, desirable economic changes may affect the level of
poverty, as their cumulative impact is to increase an
unemployment and poverty that we call structural
such as inflation and technological innovation
The Conflict Perspective
Views society as involving constant struggle between social
classes over scarce resources
Social Darwinist m theories argue that
essentially, the poor are poor because they are lazy, waste their time and
money, and simply do not have the self-control to succeed.
(by choice but not by chance)
Structuralists argue that
The poor are most affected by the business cycles of boom and bust
creating cycles of employment and unemployment.
The poor own very little, means the poor are left without resources
when employment comes to an end or become unemployed any time.
Nepal, where we are?
GDP - per capita:
$1,300 (2012) WB: comparison : 207
46% (2008)WB Comparison:192
(Source: CBS 2011)
Measuring Poverty in Nepal
NOT TO BE POOR - calorie consumption 2,200 /person /day and access to
essential non-food items with income NPR 14,430 a year is must
earning less than Rs 14,430 per year falls below the poverty line
poverty level in the Urban hills (9 percent) is lower than that in
Kathmandu (11 percent)
highest poor population live in the mountains (42 percent) ,
and rural hills in the Mid and Far-West regions (37 percent).
poverty rate has declined to 25.2 percent
households led by agricultural wage workers are the poorest while those
headed by professional wage workers are the least poor.
households headed by females have a slightly lower poverty rate.
(Nepal Living Standards Survey III and Population Census Survey, CBS, 2011)
Some government efforts
Government has been giving the first priority to the reduction of
poverty since eighth five year plan -1992
The 10th plan was considered as poverty reduction strategy
MDGs were accepted as one of the signatory UN member state
Programmes for Education for all
Open economic policy/privatization
Creation of poverty alleviation fund
Poverty is taking as cross cutting issues in the development plan
Here comes the role of Education
Relation to Education
lower a qualifications, the higher risks of being out of, but wanting, work
or being in work but low paid.
with no qualifications are twice as likely to be lacking paid work
Supporting the idea of Amartya Sen
Better basic education improve the quality of life directly
It also increase a person’s ability to earn an income and be free’ of
The more inclusive reach of basic education, the more likely the
potentially poor would have a better chance of overcoming penury
Hence, this connection is crucial point to focus
Poverty Cycle: Options for Escape
to enjoy life
Lower the social status
Job less, mental stress,
dependency to other
limited social capital
No ability to fulfill
family and social
Breaking cycle of poverty and employment
Source: Adopted from Pearson Education (2012).
Central Bureau of Statistic (CBS), (2011). Population census survey. Kathmandu: Author.
Martin, B. (2000). Analytic philosophy’s narrative turn: Quine, Rorty, Davidson. In: Dasembrock, R.W. (ed.).
Literary theory after Davidson. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
NPC, (2007). First three year interim plan. Kathmandu: Author.
Pearson Education (2012). A presentation on poverty and unemployment. New Work: Pearson Education, Inc.
Townsend, P. (Dec., 1985). A Sociological Approach to the Measurement of Poverty--A Rejoinder to
Professor Amartya Sen. Oxford Economic Papers, New Series, 37(4). Retrieved from
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2663048 .Accessed on 25April 2013.
Beckley, H. (2002). Capability as Opportunity: How Amartya Sen Revises Equal Opportunity. The Journal of
Religious Ethics, 30(1). Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/40017928 .Accessed on: 13/04/2013