Here is a potential hypothesis based on socio-economic trends in our country and perhaps many such developing nations like ours. The trend of urban migration is fairly clear in these countries. People from remote rural areas try to migrate to the nearest town. People from that small town try to get to the nearest larger (and prosperous) town or the district centre. People from that district try to move the nearest most prosperous city, and so on till they reach the most prosperous or populous cities in the country.
What happens between nations is not dissimilar either. People from undeveloped countries, reach out for the next higher level. People from not so prosperous nations reach out to the next higher level. So the simple conclusion (as we know) that people will move, irrespective of geographic disparities or barriers to raise their economic level. This, obviously, can happen if the particular individual has either a particular skill which is less easy to find (than required) in the destination location or offers his/ her services at a lower price point than available.
If this basic premise stands, then one could conclude (of course, this is a broad brush) that good teachers in rural schools would attempt to move to the next higher level of prosperity location. The added complication is that the economic condition that the student belongs too as well. This could lead to at least three specific things:
- One that the teachers will just leave and go, thus creating a bit of a vacuum and paucity of teachers in rural areas. The paucity, we know, exists for sure. So, no teacher and thus no teaching.
- Second, the remaining teachers in those remote rural areas will always be focused on getting out of their (present) rut and get to an urban location which is economically more rewarding. Even if this teacher does not manage to escape, how will this teacher actually ever manage to do a good job of teaching where she/ he currently is?
- And finally, if the place is that remote and economically backward - then there is a higher probability that the children (in the school) belong to economically backward families. If so, then the children might be under higher pressure not to attend school and contribute more towards the family income or running of the house (for a girl child).
Oh, there could be other valid reasons too. The somewhat contrary view perhaps is that if there were to be a economically very backward location closer to a prosperous place, the situation perhaps would not be very different. Just for the sake of the hypothesis, let us assume that remoter you go, poorer the place will be. That would lead to - farther away you get from an urban location, worse should the quality of education imparted (or received). And if the level of teaching and attendance fall, then the average results from that area should drop as well.
Of course, this is just a hypothesis and only way to prove or disprove it would be by some field work. It really might be interesting to conduct such a survey to see if the hypothesis stands to data (or not!).