The importance of parents for access to education: Findings from South Africa

Solveig Argeseanu Cunningham, Emory University
Victoria Hosegood, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Christopher R Cunningham, Syracuse University
Caterina Hill, Africa Center for Health and Population Studies

This study explores the importance of living with parents for children’s school attendance and progress. Using a regional census from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, we explore the differences in education between children living with both parents, orphans and children with living parents who do not belong to the same household. We find that children whose parents are both in the same household are more likely to be enrolled in school and complete more grades than children with only one parent household member. Those with only one parent household member have more schooling than those living with neither parent. Children with deceased parents do not have significantly less schooling than children whose parents are not household members for other reasons. Children are further behind in school if their mothers are absent from the household or deceased than if their fathers are absent.

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Presented in Poster Session 4