Parents’ Perception of Education and Choice of Childhood Activities: Evidence from Pakistan

Lubna Naz, Abdul Salam Lodhi, Daniel W. Tsegai


We investigate parents’ perceptions of various educational
systems and their impact on the decision to either send their children
to school, or engage them in other childhood activities. Childhood
activities are categorised as follows: secular schooling, religious
(non- secular schooling), child labour, child labour combined with
secular schooling, and leisure (inactivity). The paper uses the
household survey data of 2,496 children, 963 households, and 40 villages
in Pakistan. A Multinomial Probit Model analysed the impact of various
socio- economic variables on the likelihood of choosing an activity for
children. Results indicate that the following factors influence the
parents’ decisions in selection of activities for their children: the
parents’ level of education, mother’s relative authority in household
decisions, degree of religiosity of the head of household, beliefs in
tribal norms, household income, and proximity to the school. The
findings provide insignificant evidence to support the “luxury axiom”
hypothesis that children only work when their families are unable to
meet their basic needs.

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