Child labour and schooling in the context of a subsistence rural economy: can they be compatible?
International Journal of Educational Development Volume 23, Number 2 ISSN 0738-0593 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
International concern over the problem of child labour often focuses on children working in the manufacturing and export sectors. Yet, most children in the developing countries provide unpaid agricultural and domestic labour, often at the expense of their education. A holistic approach that considers schooling in conjunction with children’s participation in child care, farm work, and other household responsibilities is, thus necessary to formulate policies that will encourage greater educational attainment. This paper has investigated the implications of children’s participation in household activities on schooling using a household survey from rural Ethiopia. The result suggests that combining work with school attendance is common among school children, although some activities may hamper school attendance more than others. Hence, a gradual policy towards child labour may be necessary in the context of subsistence economies, where initial interventions should aim at making the combination of work and school attendance possible rather than eliminating immediately child labour. To achieve this, introduction of a flexible school system that recognizes the peak demand seasons for family and agricultural labour may be necessary.
Admassie, A. Child labour and schooling in the context of a subsistence rural economy: can they be compatible?. International Journal of Educational Development, 23(2), 167-185. Elsevier Ltd.