Author:Eberechukwu Uneze &Ibrahim Tajudeen
Publication Date:February, 2012
Document Size: 41pages
In spite of the efforts made by the government to increase access to affordable education,access to basic education and enrollment by the girl child remains poor. While this problem isvery profound in developing countries, its present form in Nigeria even requires more urgentattention. It is against this backdrop that this study conducts a policy simulation exercise on twoeducational assistance programmes for girls free tuition fee for all with stipend for girls (PolicyA) and free tuition fee for all with transport for girls (Policy B) to boost female primary schoolenrollment. The study estimates the relative cost and the effectiveness measure such as lifetimeearnings. It compares the cost per beneficiary and the cost-benefit ratios of these policyalternatives. The cost per beneficiary shows that policy B has a lower cost and a lower level ofenrollment, while policy A has a higher cost and a higher level of enrollment. Overall, theresults of the cost-benefit analysis show that both policies are beneficial though policy A has alower cost-benefit ratio.
Two funding scenarios (paying for the policy) as well as distribution scenarios (equity) were alsoanalysed. The equity dimension of the exercise is to ensure that the policies are pro-poor andable to distribute the benefits in an equitable manner. The sensitivity analysis performed todetermine the stability of these findings, show that the results are robust to parameter changesand assumptions. In sum, since both programs can be implemented (as shown by their lowcost-benefit ratios), we recommend that policy B be introduced in the urban centres wherethere is likelihood or high level of pedestrian risk, insecurity and high rate of motor accidentsthat may discourage parents from sending their children (especially girls) to school. In ruralareas where there is higher incidence of poverty, which often force parents to the engage theirfemale children in economic activities, policy A should be implemented. Finally, in semi urbanareas with less pedestrian risk and moderate poverty incidence, both policies can beimplemented as complements, depending on resource availability.