Ethiopia has one of the lowest primary school enrolment rates and one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. Government efforts have focused on expanding access to primary education, particularly in rural areas, but as a consequence, insufficient resources have been allocated to improving the quality of education. Another key problem in Ethiopia is the presence of regional, urban/rural and gender disparities in enrolment. There is an additional dimension that needs to be tackled in order to improve schooling indicators. While the general focus has been on supply of educational services, not much attention has been paid to out-of-school factors that influence the demand for schooling. This is a concern which the Young Lives Project (YL) - a 15-year longitudinal policy-research project in four countries (Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam) which aims to reveal the links between international and national policies and children's day-to-day lives, with the objective of influencing national policies to improve the wellbeing of children living in poverty - seeks to emphasise. This Policy Brief, based on Young Lives Working Paper 15, examines factors affecting demand for school in Ethiopia, and the policy implications.
Pereznieto, P.; Jones, N. Young Lives Policy Brief 2. Educational Choices in Ethiopia: what determines whether poor children go to school? (2006) 12 pp.