Poverty: A Major Challenge to the African Rural Educational System Development and the Way Forward (Review)

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Donatus Okeowhor
Joel Ogechukwu Okoh
Anthony Baakel
Ogochukwu Judith Okolo


Considering the significance of rural poverty across the continent of Africa, it should come as no surprise that rural school children are the most disadvantaged from a socioeconomic perspective when it comes to access to a quality education. Rural schools generally have less qualified teachers and not enough teachers for the number of children enrolled in school. This is clearly evident in the low teachers-per-school ratios and teacher-to-pupil ratios in most rural African regions. The reasons for these low numbers in rural Africa are many and very much linked to poverty and other inequalities and socioeconomic conditions. For example, teachers generally prefer urban to rural schools because urban areas offer greater opportunities and higher incomes. There is also a better quality of life in urban areas, with better access to good infrastructure, other services (such as healthcare) and general public goods. In contrast, rural areas in Africa are often characterized by poor or nonexistent infrastructure and little or no provisions for other critical social services. This in turn negatively impacts the quality of education for rural-area children since even getting to school is a more difficult challenge and illness of a pupil or a family member may force the pupil to drop out of school entirely. Students in rural regions of Africa are further disadvantaged by the fact that their parents are generally uneducated. Again, we see that other socioeconomic conditions and inequalities greatly impact the quality of education in rural areas compared to urban centers. The continent’s education crisis is serious and it adversely affects rural areas more than urban ones. African governments and their development partners should not underestimate the long-term consequences of continued poverty and socioeconomic inequalities in rural areas. These conditions will only continue to exacerbate the education and learning gaps between rural and urban African schoolchildren. And in turn, poor quality education in rural areas will only continue to perpetuate long-term poverty in the region.

Africa, education, poverty, infrastructure, rural

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How to Cite
Okeowhor, D., Okoh, J., Baakel, A., & Okolo, O. (2019). Poverty: A Major Challenge to the African Rural Educational System Development and the Way Forward (Review). Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, 3(3), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajess/2019/v3i330098
Review Article