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  1. The precocious period: the impact of early menarche on schooling in India

    Improvements in childhood nutrition increase schooling and economic returns in later life in a virtuous cycle. However, better nutrition also leads to an earlier onset of menstruation (menarche). In socio-cultural contexts where menarche adversely affects educational attainments, early menarche can thus break the virtuous cycle of girls’ human development. This paper focuses on one such context, India, and uses the Young Lives Longitudinal Study to show that starting menses before age twelve causes a 13% decrease in school enrollment rate. …

  2. The effects of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Zambia

    Global investments in girls’ education have been motivated, in part, by an expectation that more-educated women will have smaller and healthier families. However, in many low- and middle-income countries, the timing of school dropout and first birth coincide, resulting in a rapid transition from the role of student to the role of mother for adolescent girls. Despite growing interest in the effects of pregnancy on levels of school dropout, researchers have largely overlooked the potential effect of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy. …

  3. Jamaica’s policy for the school reintegration of school-age mothers. How are we doing and where do we need to go?

    This paper examines the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in Jamaica, the girls most affected, and where and when they are most vulnerable. The paper also discusses the provisions for continuing education under the National Policy for the Reintegration of School-Age Mothers into the Formal School System. It assesses whether the policy is reaching the target group and its effectiveness in addressing access to secondary education for teen mothers.

  4. Menarche and its implications for educational policy in Peru

    Indigenous girls in rural areas live in the most extreme poverty and make up the least educated groups in Peru. These girls face numerous constraints to obtaining an education. Enrollment rates are lower for girls in rural areas, and their grade repetition rates are higher than those for boys. Adolescence is particularly difficult, as girls face a number of risks during this time. Once they begin menstruation, completing their primary school education is a formidable challenge, and opportunities for advancing to secondary school are limited. …

  5. Assessing the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District

    The consequences of teenage pregnancy are gigantic and inimical to the wellbeing of adolescent population as well as development in the broad-spectrum. As a result, this study assessed the effect of teenage pregnancy on achieving universal basic education in Ghana: a case study of Upper Denkyira West District. The research design employed for this study was the mixed approach. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied for the study. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting respondents for the study and the sample size was 80. …

  6. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  7. Expanding access to secondary school education for teenage mothers in Kenya: a baseline study report

    The objectives of this study were to: 1) foster an understanding of the current situation and context in regard to out-of-school teenage mothers and their potential support systems for school re-entry at the household and school levels in Homa Bay County, 2) clarify possible solutions for promoting school re-entry on the part of out-of-school girls, their families, and the education sector, and 3) provide a benchmark against which changes resulting from an intervention to promote school re-entry may be measured by the endline period.

  8. Education sector response to early and unintended pregnancy: a policy dialogue in Homa Bay County, Kenya

    In collaboration with the Strengthening Evidence for Programming on Unintended Pregnancy (STEP UP) Research Programme Consortium, the Population Council has implemented a project since 2014 to increase the demand for secondary school education in Homa Bay County, Kenya – an area characterized by high, unintended teenage pregnancy and female school drop-out rates.

  9. On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia

    This paper examines the effect of age of marriage on women’s schooling outcomes for 36 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of early marriage driven by socio-economic and cultural factors. Our results show that delaying early marriage by one year is associated with an increase of half a year of education in Sub- Saharan Africa and nearly one third of a year of education in South West Asia as well as a lower likelihood of dropping out from secondary school of 5.5% in South West Asia.

  10. Adolescent pregnancy and education trajectories in Malawi

    Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal. This paper uses longitudinal data from five rounds of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study to investigate how becoming pregnant while attending school influences medium-term educational outcomes of young women. …

  11. Re-entry to school after giving birth: an evaluation of the process used to design and implement policy in Zambia

    The re-entry policy launched in 1997 advocates that girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy should be readmitted after giving birth. …

  12. Forced out: mandatory pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant students in Tanzanian schools

    This publication documents the forced pregnancy testing and expulsion of pregnant school girls in mainland Tanzania. Launched in 2013 and based on in-depth interviews with young women who have undergone these practices, as well as teachers, government officials, and health care providers, this report provides concrete evidence and compelling stories of the numerous human rights violations many Tanzanian girls face in the pursuit of education. In addition, the report provides key recommendations to the Tanzanian Government, regional human rights bodies, and the international donor community. …

  13. Unintended pregnancy and termination of studies among students in Anambra state, Nigeria: are secondary schools playing their part?

    This study evaluated efforts of secondary schools to prevent unintended pregnancy among students and their reactions to pregnant students before and after delivery. A cross-sectional survey of 46 teachers in three public and two private schools in Anambra state, Nigeria was carried out. Information was collected using self-administered questionnaire. Of all the teachers in the study, 87% reported unintended pregnancies among students in the previous 3 years. Expulsion (43%) and suspension (28%) were the most common reactions. …

  14. The miseducation of Latin American girls: poor schooling makes pregnancy a rational choice

    Our interest in understanding the determinants of adolescent childbearing and how adolescent childbearing influences educational trajectories derive from a concern about the inverse relationship between educational outcomes and adolescent fertility. Through in-depth interviews with 118 women, we contrast the educational trajectories of adolescent and adult child-bearers in urban neighborhoods in Paraguay and Peru. The findings suggest that adolescents who face obstacles that discourage academic achievement and high aspirations in life are also more likely to bear children. …

  15. Adolescent motherhood and secondary schooling in Chile

    The authors analyze the determinants of adolescent motherhood and its subsequent effect on high school attendance and completion in Chile. Using eight rounds of household surveys, they find that adolescents who were born to teen mothers, those that live in poor households and in single-mother families, are more likely to have children, while access to full-time high schools reduces the likelihood of motherhood. They then estimate the effect of adolescent motherhood on the probability of high school attendance and completion. …

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