Spatial Analysis of the Effect of Absenteeism on Education Quality in Maynas, Peru
Engler, Nathan J.
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This thesis examines the effect of absenteeism on education quality for primary-aged public school students in the Department of Loreto, Province of Maynas, situated in the Amazonian region of north-eastern Peru. The thesis also examines the underlying reasons for absenteeism, with a focus on the contribution of childhood morbidity and socio-economic and environmental context to absenteeism, using both gender- and grade-based analyses of student level absenteeism data collected from a sample of schools in the study area. A five-component model with multiple individual indicators measuring each component of education systems defines the concept of education quality as it relates to the analysis in the thesis. The model has been demonstrated in previous research to be effective in explaining variations in education quality in Peru and elsewhere. However, the model has not been applied to this important yet under-researched area of education assessment, namely student absenteeism (at the student and school level) and its effect on education quality. In addition, spatial variations in absenteeism, based on the geographic distribution of the schools over the study area, are evaluated. This analysis allows spatial regularities or spatial randomness to be established for both absenteeism and education quality in the study area. Identifying spatial clustering of public primary schools where a high rate of student absenteeism contributes significantly to explaining overall low levels of education quality can provide education policy planners and decision-makers with insights into causal processes that need to be addressed through planned interventions in the education system.