An Investigation on the Impact of Absolute Poverty on Attendance of Students of Secondary Schools in Zone 1 of Mauritius

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Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction3
1.1 Statement of the Problem4
1.2 significance of study6
1.3 Objectives of the Study7
1.4 Research Questions7
1.4 Research Hypotheses7
2. Literature Review10
3. Research Methodology13
3.1 Research Design13
3.2 Population and Sampling14
3.3 Data Collection Method and technique14
3.4 Questionnaire Design14
3.6 Ethical Consideration16
3.7 Data Analysis16
3.8. Limitation of the study16
4.Data analysis, Findings and Discussion17
4.1 Response Rate17
4.2Demographic characteristics of the respondents17
4.2.1Age of the respondents17
4.2.2Class level of the respondents18
4.2.3Family status18
4.2.4Monthly income19
4.2.5Responsible party of respondents19
4.2.6Education level of Responsible Party (Guardian)20 4.3Home Environment20
4.3.1Reaction of guardians to wards not attending classes21 4.3.2 Siblings also going to school21
4.3.3 Running water and toilet/bathroom facilities22
4.3.4 A decent place to study at home22
4.3.5School materials23
4.3.6 Other factors in the home environment24
4.4 Attitude of the students to schooling25
4.4.1 CPE Results25
4.4.2Attending school26
4.4.3Misbehaviour27
4.4.4Importance of passing examinations28
4.4.5Peer Pressure28
4.5 Hypothesis Testing29
5.0 Conclusion and recommendations37
6.0 References43
7.0 Appendix45

1.0 Introduction

For years it has been recognised that school students must attend classes in order to be successful. There is no doubt that low attendance at school is a recipe for school failure and a precursor to dropping out of school. It is widely believed in academia, that consistent class attendance is a key factor in the academic success of students. Several studies have quantitatively confirmed this belief, revealing that absenteeism negatively impacts student academic performance. Put differently, improving performance is a critical goal and attendance is a key element in achieving that goal. So, the key ingredient for ensuring success in school is helping children get into the habit of attending school every day. Researchers have repeatedly identified low attendance as a signal that students are headed off track academically and have confirmed that poor attendance puts low-performing students at greater risk of educational failure. The home background of students is the single most important factor influencing educational outcomes and poverty is strongly correlated with a range of other home background variables.

It is widely agreed that the relationship between poverty and education operates in two directions: poor people are often unable to obtain access to an adequate education, and without an adequate education people are often constrained to a life of poverty. However, before addressing the interrelationships between poverty and education, it is important to discuss the concept of poverty.

Mauritius does not have a national poverty line. However, on the basis of household survey data, poverty related indicators can be derived. The analysis of data focuses mainly on poverty measurement in monetary terms based on data collected from Household Budget Surveys. The poverty line can be an absolute poverty line which is the cost of the basic needs of a household in terms of food, housing, clothing and other essentials for living. The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has placed all families with a monthly income of less than Rs 6 200 under the “absolute poverty” category.

Poverty is not simply the absence of financial resources. According to Amartya Sen (2001), poverty is the lack of capability to function effectively in society. Inadequate education can thus be considered a form of poverty. Absolute...
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