Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Analysing demand for primary education: Slum dwellers of Kolkata

Husain, Zakir (2005): Analysing demand for primary education: Slum dwellers of Kolkata. Published in: Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. XL, No. 2 (8 January 2005): pp. 137-147.


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The low level of literacy within the Muslim community is traditionally explained in terms of the conservative values characterising Muslim society. Based on a field survey of slum dwellers in selected areas of Kolkata, this article argues that economic factors and uncertainties in the labour market combine to create a different perception of the cost-benefits of education. It also examines other facets of educational decisions: its cost and components, the choice of educational institutions and the preferred medium of instruction, presence of gender bias, and the relation between dropouts and child labour.

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