Has universal primary education improved school enrollment of AIDS orphans?
Nicola, Eric Thomas.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper investigates whether enrollment rates in Tanzania have improved as a result of the Government of Tanzania's implementation of free universal primary education and education sector enhancements through the Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP). The elimination of school fees, coupled with PEDP's enhanced teacher recruitment and building of schools, served as a response to the second Millennium Development Goal, calling for the enrollment of all children by 2015 to develop human capital. Specifically, this study looks at HIV/AIDS orphans who have seen negative effects on educational attainment resulting from the loss of at least one parent to the disease. Previous studies, which illuminate the negative impacts to orphans, call for expanded schooling opportunities to mitigate the effects of orphanhood. Comparing samples collected in 1994 and 2004 through the Kagera Health and Development Survey, and using OLS and difference-in-difference models, I seek to find if orphan enrollment rates raised overall and relative to non-orphans' rates. All children are seen to enroll at a 16.2 percentage point (p.p.) higher rate in 2004 than 1994, a difference that is statistically significant, confirming previous findings. Orphans' enrollment improves by 4.2 p.p., but the change is not significant. On-time enrollment, defined as the presence in school at age seven, increases for all groups in the study.; Overall, on-time enrollment increases by 52.5 p.p., while orphans see an 8.7 p.p. enhancement between 1994 and 2004. Among orphans, boys' enrollment rates advance more than girls' between the two years. Additionally, the study finds a reduction of wealth effects for all groups between the two years. Overall, the effect of wealth on enrollment decreases by 8.1 p.p., while orphans' wealth effects decrease by 8.6 p.p. Despite PEDP's improvements to all groups in the study, non-orphans' enrollment is seen to increase by 16.3 p.p. more than orphans' enrollment rates, which is statistically significant in creating a widened enrollment gap in 2004, which was smaller and not significant in 1994.; Strategies to further improve orphans' enrollment could include cash transfers to male household heads, who are seen to be less likely to enroll children in their care, to incentivize on time enrollment. Continuing to develop primary school options, by recruiting additional teachers and building additional schools, may rectify access and enrollment concerns. Improved opportunities to attend, reduced costs for and better quality of secondary schooling could continue to raise overall enrollment rates, as primary schooling would become more valuable. Ultimately, however, the most impactful solutions to improving the lot of the most destitute may be to couple school improvements with the reduction of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases, which could result in substantially fewer orphans and higher enrollment rates overall.
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