Friday, April 04, 2008

Girl students become teachers... true in Africa?

An interesting finds from research in Pakistan (see below) is that private schools locate in areas where there are large number of girl secondary school graduates- who can be teachers for the private schools! I wonder whether anyone has done this kind of research in rural Africa? In Burkina Faso private schooling is primarily an urban phenomenon. But the rapidly growing town of Houndé near where FAVL libraries in Burkina are located now has a private school- started by the previous mayor. And certainly our librarians are often young women educated in secondary schools who then for one reason or another stay in their villages- perfectly according with the Pakistan finding.

Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow? The Rise of Affordable Private Schools
Tahir Andrabi, J. Das, and A. Khwaja, 2006
Private Schools are typically thought of as an “up-market” phenomenon. Pakistan 's experience during the last decade is the opposite, with a mushrooming of for-profit private schools and a 300 percent increase in private sector enrollments. This paper links the growth of private schools to the presence of schools in the public sector. We show that private schools are set up in villages where there are pre-existing girls' secondary schools. Instrumental variables estimates suggest that the presence of a private school increases the probability of a private school by 35 percentage points. In contrast, there is little or no relationship between private school existence and pre-existing girls' primary or boys' primary and high schools. Our results support a “women as teachers” channel: pre-existing high schools increase the supply of local skilled women and, in an environment with low female mobility, this lowers wages for women and lowers teaching costs for private schools in these localized labor markets. These findings highlight an important constraint to schooling–the supply of teachers–and suggest that one cannot ignore the role of higher education in achieving universal primary education.

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