This paper analyses the gap in educational access according to maternal education over a 10 year period using evidence from the Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) in six African countries (Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia). Each country contains two DHS datasets, separated by at least a decade. The study uses the model of Zones of Exclusion developed by the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (Lewin, 2007) to analyse educational access for children. Maternal education is defined according to years of schooling.
Cross-country results highlight the importance of maternal education in interaction with household wealth in estimating the gap in educational access according to maternal education. In summary the analysis indicates that associations between mothers’ education and children’s access to education remain widespread and can be quite strong. More often than not the relationship is more significant amongst the relatively rich than amongst the poorest. It may also be stronger the greater the number of years of education the mother has. Between the samples in the 1980s and 1990s the changes we see are not very great, and nor are they very consistent across countries. This may be because the time period is too short to see changes, and it may be that the causality of the changes that are observed is much more complex than a simple model can capture. Nevertheless the changes that do appear provide an invitation to explore in more detail at country level what the reasons might be.
Sabates, R.; Hernandez Fernandez, J.; Lewin, K. M. The Role of Maternal Education During Educational Expansion for Children in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: CREATE Pathways to Access Series, Research Monograph Number 64. (2011) 1-40. ISBN 0-901881-77-5