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

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  • Manos Antoninis

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Manos Antoninis, 2012. "Tackling the largest global education challenge? Secular and religious education in northern Nigeria," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2012-17
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/csae-wps-2012-17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2010. "Africa's education enigma? The Nigerian story," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 128-139, January.
    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. 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.
    4. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2005. "Religious school enrollment in Pakistan : a look at the data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3521, The World Bank.
    5. 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.
    6. Francisco A. Gallego & Robert Woodberry, 2010. "Christian Missionaries and Education in Former African Colonies: How Competition Mattered," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(3), pages 294-329, June.
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    Keywords

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

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