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IBA faculty single authors paper on correlation of sanitation facilities with student enrollment
Dr. Abbas Gillani, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, and Director Program Offices, has recently had his paper published in renowned journal, World Development Perspectives. His research paper explains the association between adequate sanitation facilities and student enrollment at academic institutions.
Pakistan is the seventh worst country in the world in terms of access to basic sanitation facilities, with 1 in 3 schools in Pakistan lacking basic toilet provision. Evidence shows that quality environment and physical infrastructure is linked with improved educational outcomes, although literature quantifying the magnitude, or mechanism, of how a toilet facility at school can increase school participation is a recent area of interest. By using school-level data of over 17.000 schools in Pakistan from The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), this paper estimates the relationship between a school having a toilet facility and enrolment at school, between the years 2013 and 2018. We find a school with a toilet facility is correlated with increased enrolment. Gender-wise breakup of results suggests, that for girls only schools, having a toilet facility was linked with a higher enrolment. However, for boys only schools, and for mixed schools, no robust evidence of any such association between a toilet facility at school and enrolment was found. Future research should focus on quantifying the mechanism behind the heterogeneous effects across gender, as toilet facilities potentially serve as a safe space for girls against harassment, assault and sexual violence.