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Title:Orphanhood, vulnerability and primary school attendance: evidence from a school-based survey in two regions of Tanzania
Authors:Gould, William T.S.ISNI
Huber, Ulli S.ISNI
Periodical:African Population Studies
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:primary education
female-headed households
Abstract:This paper addresses two frequent overgeneralizations in the orphanhood literature in Africa: about the 'vulnerability' of children and about 'orphans'. It specifically examines school attendance, given the common presumption that orphans are less likely to attend school than non-orphans. Using survey data from two regions in Tanzania, analysis by primary school attendance categories (regular attenders, irregular attenders, dropouts, never attenders) shows that orphans should not be compared only with non-orphans since there are other vulnerable groups of children, all with different levels of social and spatial disadvantage. Both orphans and a second large and potentially vulnerable group of children, children who have not lost a parent, but who live with only one or neither of their parents, are less likely than other children to attend school in urban and roadside settlements. For rural areas, however, there is no clear relationship between vulnerable groups and school attendance and dropout. Since the majority of orphans and children from spatially separated families are looked after on a daily basis by their lone mothers or single female elders (in particular aunts and grandmothers), children's differential school attendance between urban/roadside and rural areas is related to the extent to which female-headed households are able to find sustainable livelihoods in these different areas. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]