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IBA faculty and students co-author a paper on the effectiveness of installing solar panels at Pakistani schools to increase enrolment
Dr. Abbas Gillani, Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Social Sciences, and Director Program Offices, and BS Economics and Mathematics students, Sana Khan, Sadia Nasir and Salwa Niaz, co-authored a paper titled, ‘The effectiveness of installing solar panels at schools in Pakistan to increase enrolment’.
Dr. Gillani, supervised the initiative and collectively converted the students’ final year project into an academic research paper of international standards within the ‘X’ category, published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.
At present, 35% of all primary schools and 15% of all secondary schools in Pakistan do not have access to electricity, severely impacting student participation and performance. Earlier literature exploring the effects of electrification of schools through solar electricity on educational access and outcome has been very limited, but recently it has gained attention. By examining data of more than 20,000 schools across 176 districts of Pakistan from the years 2013 until 2018, this paper quantifies the effectiveness of installing solar panels at schools to generate electricity, and thus increasing student participation through higher enrolment. The results show that a school where a solar panel was installed as an education policy initiative witnessed an increase in enrolment, when compared to a school that did not have a solar panel installed under the education policy initiative. This research highlights an immediate need of electrification of schools to improve learning outcomes. It also quantifies the effects of using solar electricity at schools that otherwise may not have access to electricity via the conventional grid system. Finally, as Pakistan ranks second in the list of countries with the worst pollution in the world, this study provides evidence for policymakers, and urges them to focus on expanding the use of renewable energy resources in all fields of socioeconomic activity to reverse the detrimental effects of climate change.
The article can be accessed here.