Addressing the Social Exclusion of Children from Primary Education: Country Analyses of India and Mozambique

  • Robert Jenkins

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This thesis focuses on the social exclusion of children of primary school age in India and Mozambique by examining two related aspects: the policies that have been adopted in both countries to tackle social exclusion and the indicators they have used to identify it. It is argued that existing policy indicators in both countries can provide a partial answer to the question of how far they have been able to address social exclusion but that indicators and analyses need to be more fine grained both to monitor social exclusion and provide leads as to how it can better addressed. The purpose is not to compare the two country analyses in order to evaluate how they differ in terms of magnitude or severity in the form of the exclusion. Rather, it is to understand the diverse nature of exclusion, and the different remedies and analyses that are required in the two countries. This analysis suggests that one size fits all policies, as once suggested by the World Bank, are inappropriate. The thesis develops an understanding of the concept of social exclusion and contrasts it with previous accounts of poverty in countries like India and Mozambique. It also adopts a normative Human Rights approach in viewing primary schooling as crucial to questions of social exclusion. It also shows how these key concepts can be related. Through the two country analyses offered in this thesis, it can be shown that because data collection processes are largely based on aggregate indicators, there is insufficient information to undertake an adequate analysis of social exclusion. In order to establish this point, official data sets are reanalyzed to see how far they can take us in helping to understand the complex nature of social exclusion. In particular, it will be shown that the indicators related to the education status of children are insufficiently disaggregated to enable an improved understanding of the characteristics of children that continue to be excluded. From this analysis it will be argued that a broader list of indicators needs to be developed related to the dynamics at the level of the school, community and household. However, given that social exclusion may be structured differently in various contexts it is argued that participatory research is required that facilitates the assessment and analysis of these dynamics by all the key stakeholders, including children, at the various levels. In particular, policy makers fail to involve children in the process of assessing and analyzing the reasons for exclusion, and therefore do not benefit from their perceptions and insights. Further analysis of the various dynamics which relate to exclusion provide useful insights to better understand the policy and programmatic initiatives that effectively address the social exclusion of children from primary school.
Date of Award1 Jul 2009
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorHugh Lauder (Supervisor)


  • developing countries
  • social exclusion
  • education

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