Examining the Role of Schooling in The Cognitive and Wider Development of Children in the Province of Punjab (Pakistan) and State of Gujarat (India): Establishing Routes for Sustainable Education

This project aims to demonstrate the impact that school attendance has on children’s cognitive development and health outcomes in India and Pakistan.
Project status

School enrolment of around 80% in India and Pakistan is lower than targets associated with Sustainable Development Goal 4 and functional levels of literacy and numeracy are inadequate even for many young children who are enrolled in school. This project, based on 1,500 young children from one province in Pakistan and one state in India, seeks to examine patterns of enrolment of children and school readiness by socio-economic group, family background, urban / rural locations and individual characteristics such as gender, disability and health. Attendance and progress at school will be analysed over one year, demonstrating how much of a difference school attendance can make to children’s cognitive development and health outcomes. The project aims to collect in-depth information from families and communities on their views of schools and any barriers to attendance, and conduct a systematic review of the evidence. The findings are expected to have policy implications on school enrolment, attendance and retention.

The team's final project report was published on 20 September 2022, and a foreword has been authored by Ziauddin Yousafzai (Malala Yousafzai’s father).

Research Team: Dr Nadia Siddiqui, Durham University; Professor Pauline Dixon, Newcastle University; Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University; Dr Smruti Bulsari, MyCor Human Capital Solutions ; Dr Beng Huat See, Durham University; Mrs Sehar Saeed, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA-Centre of Education & Consciousness)

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