Food or schooling? Examining school attendance among the rural poor in Guinea

Alhassane Balde, Université de Paris V, Sorbonne and Université de Conakry

Apart from the availability of schools, what other variables may or may not have an impact on school attendance? The discussion that follows addresses this question as it pertains to rural areas in Guinea using quantitative and qualitative data from a larger survey that was conducted with the participation of the author and sponsored by the laboratory “POPINTER” at the University of Paris V between January and February 2003. The analysis of the findings highlights an overlap between the academic and rural calendars and problematizes the compromises that parents are forced to make with respect to the relationships of school attendance and the necessity to feed oneself, on one hand, and the socioeconomic status of the household, on the other. These relationships are all the more significant in rich families with fewer school-age children.

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Presented in Poster Session 2