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Impact of parental migration on children’s education and protection: evidence from Sri Lanka

Author:

Priyanga Dunusingha

University of Colombo, LK
About Priyanga
Department of Economics
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Abstract

International labour migration has been one of the key sources of employment generation and foreign exchange earnings for Sri Lanka since the early 1980s. A sizable share of the total migrants falls into the 25-44 age-group and their migration may have implications on education and protection of children left behind. This study aimed at examining the impact of parental migration on education and protection of children left behind by employing a mixed method of data analysis. This study collected quantitative data by administering questionnaire survey for a sample of randomly selected households. Key informant interviews and in-depth interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data. Both descriptive and regression analyses were employed in data analysis and the results obtained from above techniques were further enriched by in-cooperating insights from key informant interviews and in-depth interviews. Insights from the descriptive analysis, key informant interviews, and in-depth interviews highlighted some suggestive evidence that children in migrant households face difficulties with their school attendance and performance compared to children in non-migrant households. Our regression results failed to support above evidence that migration, in general, has an effect on educational achievement. Nevertheless, we found strong statistical evidence to suggest that educational performance is lower among the children whose mother has migrated. In other words, probability is high that children in mother migrant households perform poorly at test conducted at school-level. Similarly, it was found that left-behind children’s protection is under severe risks in mother migrant households where father and close relatives are relatively weak in capacities. In contrast, in father migrant households, adult children are under greater protection provided mother and close relatives are with higher capacities. Mothers involve through a number of ways to improve children’s educational achievement and protection, and her absence at home exposes children to a greater physical and physiological risks.
How to Cite: Dunusingha, P. (2020). Impact of parental migration on children’s education and protection: evidence from Sri Lanka. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 5(2), 98–128. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jsshr.v5i2.56
Published on 27 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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