Are Work and Schooling Complementary or Competitive for Children in Rural Ethiopia? A Mixed-Methods Study

  • Kate Orkin
Part of the Palgrave Studies on Children and Development book series (PSCD)


In Ethiopia, most children work and attend school. The most recent Child Labour Force Survey (2001) showed that 52 per cent of children of primary school age in rural areas combined paid or subsistence work with schooling (Guarcello and Rosati 2007: 5).2 For policies to cater for these children, it is important to understand when children’s work competes with education and when it complements it (cf. Boyden et al. 1998: 251). If work and school are complementary, children can participate in each activity at different times of day. At best, engaging in work makes it more possible to engage in school, or vice versa. In contrast, activities can compete with each other: working may make it impossible or more difficult for children to attend school or prevent them from benefiting fully from it.


Qualitative Work Young Life Girl Group Conditional Cash Transfer Program Flat Bread 
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© Kate Orkin 2012

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  • Kate Orkin

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