The Relationship between Access to Toilets and School Enrollment in Pakistan
Hayat, Fatima Akram
The Pakistani public-school system is struggling and has fallen substantially behind other developing countries in enrollment rates. The Government of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, initiated a program to improve school infrastructure to increase enrollment. Some studies suggest that access to usable toilets can increase school enrollment, attendance rates, and educational outcomes. Using annual census data on government schools in Punjab, this paper contributes to existing literature by examining the relationship between changes in school enrollment and changes in the number of usable toilets, controlling for a number of variables that were ignored by previous studies. I find that the availability of usable toilets is positively and significantly associated with enrollment. This relationship is stronger for schools in rural areas, for female-only schools and for secondary schools. I find no evidence of a relationship between the availability of toilets and enrollment for boys-only schools.
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