Skip to main content

US study tells Indian policy makers: Larger families discourage households to send children to schools

Counterview Desk
A recent study of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Massachusetts, US, has said that the strong son-preference in India makes to have more children if the first born is a girl, but this adversely affects the children’s school education. Advocating strong need for family planning in order to have higher enrollment and fewer school dropouts, it adds, “Children from larger families are less likely to have ever been enrolled in school”, and this even more true of children belonging to “rural, poorer and low-caste families.”
Authored by Adriana D. Kugler and Santosh Kumar, the study, titled “Preference for Boys, Family Size and Educational Attainment in India”, says that “an extra child in the family reduces schooling by 0.1 years and reduces the probability of ever attending or being enrolled in school by between 1 and 2 percentage points, respectively.”
Analyzed in percentage, the study says, “Children in families with one additional child are 1.8 percentage points less likely to have ever attended school, and the likelihood that they are currently enrolled in school is 1.4 percentage points lower.” It adds, “The probability of ever attending school and being currently enrolled drop by 1.8 and 1.1 percentage points when an additional sibling is added to the family. Consequently, years of schooling fall as well.”
The study uses Indian District Level Household Survey (DLHS) data by restricting samples to households having at least one child, having children aged between five and 21, and mothers who are up to 35 years of age. This, say the researchers, was done to “minimize the possibility that adult children may have already left the household.” This, they add, yielded “a sample of 393,510 children.”
Pointing out that there are “larger effects for rural, poor, and low-caste households as well as for households with illiterate mothers”, the study says, “The impacts of an extra child in terms of reducing enrollment and attendance double and the impact of an extra child on years of schooling increase fourfold for illiterate and poor mothers, suggesting much larger gains from reducing family size in disadvantaged households.”
Giving data, it says, “An extra sibling in low and middle caste households reduces the likelihood of ever attending school by 0.079 and 0.064, respectively, compared to high caste households.” Likewise, the study adds, “Growing up with an extra sibling reduces the likelihood of being currently enrolled by between 0.05 and 0.06 for children in low and middle caste households compared to those in high caste households.”
Coming to rural-urban difference, the study says, “We find that the negative relationship between family size and children’s education is more pronounced among rural households who are severely budget-constrained.”
The study concludes, “Quantifying the causal estimate of family size on child quality is important from a policy perspective. Since the majority of large families in developing countries are poor, less educated, and resource-constrained, our findings can help us better understand why poverty persists and how people can be moved out of poverty.”
“Improving access and uptake of family planning methods and public policies aimed at increasing awareness about the benefits of having a smaller family may help weaken the severity”, the study says, adding, “Policymakers can supplement family planning policies with more investment in education and health in regions and households in order to mitigate the adverse impacts of larger families.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.