18/10/2021 – PhD Defence: A Multidimensional Perspective on Education in Developing Countries

Michelle S. M. Momo,

The aim of this thesis is to increase knowledge on educational outcomes in low income and lower-middle-income countries by examining the intergenerational correlation of education in multiple dimensions, given the complexity inherent in the concept and the global persistence in the number of early school leavers. The proposition is that in order to combat the high rate of school dropout among the poor and to increase the intergenerational mobility of education, it is necessary to explore the role played by the reduction in the intergenerational mobility on inequalities that occur early in the lives of children. In other words, gaps that emerge early in life among families that need to be addressed and offset. These are gaps that exist due to inherited limited opportunities from parents and a lack of basic necessities for a comfortable standard of living.

The exploration of the reduction of educational inequalities across generations is on two fronts. First, by increasing opportunities educationally, economically, and socially in society so that the independence of children’s education to that of their parents will be enhanced. This may be done through public policies or actions that favour the socioeconomically disadvantaged in the society. Second, by increasing the absolute intergenerational mobility through the easing of deprivations in the households and their consequences, which make that school-aged individuals are more likely to leave school early.

The findings provide insight into some of the situations surrounding households and economies with persistent low intergenerational mobility of education and the way the institutions and household environments can be assessed and ameliorated to further provide comfort and means to higher levels of schooling. They shed light on the multifaceted nature of solutions to educational improvement which comprise of both micro level and macro level circumstances surrounding school goers.