THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Poverty, Gender, and Primary School Enrolment in Pakistan
Primary education is at the base of the pyramid of education, and is regarded as a fundamental human right today. In addition, it has several tangible social and economic effects. As an essential component of human capital, primary education plays an important role in the economic growth and development of a country.1 Its impact on several other socioeconomic variables has also been documented in the literature. To quote a few examples, Butt (1984) has found that five or more years of a farmer’s education lead to increased farm productivity, reduced use of farm labour, and increased use of yield augmenting inputs. Azhar (1988) also reports a significant relationship between the number of years of schooling and increase in farm output due to increased technical efficiency. Studies of the rates of returns to education attribute a positive value to the rate of returns to primary education.2 This means that by acquiring primary education one can increase one’s earnings.