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To madrasahs or not to madrasahs: The question and correlates of enrolment in Islamic schools in Bangladesh

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  • Asadullah, M Niaz
  • Chaudhury, Nazmul

Abstract

This paper provides the first comparative assessment of the market share and socio-demographic correlates of children's enrolment in madrasahs in rural Bangladesh using data from a purposefully designed household and community surveys and census conducted in 12 districts. We find that unrecognized madrasahs do have a large presence in rural areas in terms of total numbers but their enrolment share is small. Recognized madrasahs on the other hand has a much larger share in overall student enrolment, particularly in secondary education. Sample households primarily report religious concerns as the motivation for sending children to madrasahs. Yet, only in 7% of households do all school-aged children attend madrasahs implying that religious preference matters but is not the single most important motivation for madrasah education. Therefore we formally investigate the individual, household and community related correlates of madrasah enrolment among 6–18 years old children using Probit regression model. We find a relatively weak effect of gender implying that rural madrasahs attract both boys and girls. Older children are more likely to be enrolled in madrasahs. A statistically significant and negative relationship is found between madrasah enrolment and household income as well as household's access to electricity. Among community-specific factors, children living in locations with fewer non-madrasah schools are more likely to attend madrasahs. Presence of NGOs and availability of satellite dish connection also significantly reduce enrolment in madrasahs. We additionally use nationally representative household survey data to validate some of these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Asadullah, M Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2016. "To madrasahs or not to madrasahs: The question and correlates of enrolment in Islamic schools in Bangladesh," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 55-69.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:49:y:2016:i:c:p:55-69
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2016.01.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2010. "Religious Schools, Social Values, and Economic Attitudes: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 205-217, February.
    2. M. Niaz Asadullah & Rupa Chakrabarti & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2015. "What Determines Religious School Choice? Theory And Evidence From Rural Bangladesh," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 186-207, April.
    3. Asadullah, M. Niaz, 2009. "Returns to private and public education in Bangladesh and Pakistan: A comparative analysis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-86, January.
    4. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2009. "Holy alliances: public subsidies, Islamic high schools, and female schooling in Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 377-394.
    5. Niaz Asadullah, Mohammad & Chaudhury, Nazmul & Dar, Amit, 2007. "Student achievement conditioned upon school selection: Religious and secular secondary school quality in Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 648-659, December.
    6. Al-Samarrai, Samer, 2007. "Financing basic education in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 1505, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Niaz Asadullah & Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Gaston Yalonetzky, 2018. "Fair and unfair educational inequality in a developing country: The role of pupil’s effort," Working Papers 474, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Krafft, Caroline & Elbadawy, Asmaa & Sieverding, Maia, 2019. "Constrained school choice in Egypt," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    3. M. Niaz Asadullah, 2016. "Do Pro-Poor Schools Reach Out to the Poor? Location Choice of BRAC and ROSC Schools in Bangladesh," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 49(4), pages 432-452, December.
    4. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Maliki,, 2018. "Madrasah for girls and private school for boys? The determinants of school type choice in rural and urban Indonesia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 96-111.

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    Keywords

    Islamic schools; Bangladesh; Poverty;

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