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Tackling the largest global education challenge? Secular and religious education in northern Nigeria

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  • Manos Antoninis
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    Abstract

    With more than ten million children out of school, Nigeria is the country furthest away from universal primary education. Low access to school is concentrated in the north of the country where a tradition of religious education has been seen as both a constraint and an opportunity. This paper uses recent survey data to explain household decisions related to secular and religious education. It demonstrates a shift in attitudes with unobserved household characteristics that favor religious education attendance being negatively correlated with secular school attendance after controlling for a rich set of background variables. The paper also provides quantitative evidence to support the argument that the poor quality of secular education acts as a disincentive to secular school attendance. This finding cast doubts at policy attempts to increase secular school enrolment through the integration of religious and secular school curricula.

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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2012-17.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2012-17.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2012-17

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    Keywords: Universal primary education; Islamic education; Nigeria; bivariate probit;

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    1. Lincove, Jane Arnold, 2009. "Determinants of schooling for boys and girls in Nigeria under a policy of free primary education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 474-484, August.
    2. Pierre André & Jean-Luc Demonsant, 2012. "Koranic Schools in Senegal : A real barrier to formal education?," THEMA Working Papers 2012-46, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2005. "Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data," Working Paper Series rwp05-024, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (Reading University), Nazmul Chaudhury (World Bank) and Amit Dar (World Bank), . "Student Achievement Conditioned Upon School Selection: Religious and Secular Secondary School Quality in Bangladesh," QEH Working Papers qehwps140, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    5. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2007. "Africa’s Education Enigma? The Nigerian Story," IZA Discussion Papers 3097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Francisco Gallego & Robert Woodberry, 2009. "Christian Missionaries and Education in Former African Colonies: How Competition Mattered," Working Papers ClioLab 2, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
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