There’s no place like home: new approaches to understanding the impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic on children’s education

Tania Boler, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Ian M. Timaeus, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Children are likely to be disadvantaged educationally by parental illness and death. As well as being very distressing, these events disrupt children’s lives and may impoverish them in the long-term. Since the 1980s, AIDS mortality has raised the prevalence of orphanhood in Africa enormously. Little is known, however, about how this has affected children’s education or about the processes involved. The paper examines the role of family circumstances in mediating the impact of AIDS epidemic on educational outcomes in South Africa. It overcomes some of the methodological limitations of existing research by: - using longitudinal data from the KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study, an 11-year panel collecting detailed socio-demographic and economic data on nearly 1000 households, - linking these population data with official data on schools in order to investigate school as well as home effects, - expanding the outcomes considered to include grade progression and literacy and numeracy tests.

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Presented in Poster Session 1