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Getting Girls Back in School: The Returns to Alternative Education in Tanzania

Work & Education Tanzania

Credit: Global Partnership for Education – GPE

Only 4 percent of Tanzanian adolescents complete their secondary education, and less than a third of Tanzanian girls who enter lower secondary schools graduate. Low investments in human capital are a leading explanation for lower earning potential,  higher rates of abuse, poorer health, and more. In addition to such individual benefits, a more educated labor force is predictive of economic growth. This suggests that there are potentially large returns to directing girls back into higher education. Despite this, the research team hypothesizes that girls who drop out of schooling may not have a feasible method to reintegrate after dropping out of school. The BRAC Education, Empowerment and Life-skills for Adolescent Girls and Young Children (EELAY) project aims to fill this gap by providing out-of-school girls with an alternative method to get back onto the educational track from which they were excluded. The research team will evaluate the effectiveness of offering the EELAY program in reaching this goal of redirecting girls back into education. Due to limited spacing in 25 EELAY centers, the team will randomly select among girls in their target population of who will be offered the program. This individual level randomization will allow the researchers to evaluate the effect of the EELAY program on participants’ reengagement with formal education, cognitive skills, performance in the labor market, and well-being.

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