Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Gender Differentials in the Cost of Primary Education: A Study of Pakistan

The paper examines the differences in the cost of primary education by gender and by province. It shows that the growth in enrolment outstrips the growth in the relevant population cohort, except in Sindh, and that this is faster in the case of girls than boys; that the school construction programme for girls in Sindh, unlike other provinces, outstrips the growth in female teacher employment. This is also seen in the boys’ school in Pakistan. Cost of providing education are a function of the availability of teachers and schools, opportunity cost of employment, urbanisation and female literacy. The growth in both recurring and capital outlays and in output costs per student are higher for girls and boys except in Balochistan. Using a pooled time series and analysis the paper concludes that there is an optimal level for the availability of schools per 1000 population [6.02 and 5.67 respectively for girls and boys in the Punjab and 3.88 for boys in NWFP and Balochistan] and for the number of teachers per 1000 students [7.69 for girls and 3.36 for boys]. It suggests the policy prescription to reallocate resources to employing more teachers for boys for greater cost effectiveness.

Zafar H. Ismail