Deteriorating Environmental Resources and Primary School Educational Attainment in the Rural South Pare Highlands, Tanzania

Romanus Lucian Dimoso


We assess whether school attendance and progress of children in rural primary schools, with respect to their gender, is inversely affected by deteriorating environmental resources. We distinguished three types of areas, namely, severely-degraded, medium-degraded and non-degraded environmental conditions. Our findings, among others, show that there were other factors like school crowdedness, illness, bad weather, school absenteeism due to petty trading and/or informal casual labour, and poor quality of some primary schools that significantly affected the probability of school attainment for the schoolchildren apart from the environmental degradation situations. Environmental degradation, in all estimates except for the schoolgirls in severely-degraded environment, did not have a significant impact. The policy makers therefore, in their attempt to improve educational attainment and human capital formation at primary level should, as well, focus on these other relevant factors excluded from our model. Moreover, the non-government sector may also be enticed into investing in education through attractive fiscal incentives.

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