Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data

Khwaja, Asim; Andrabi, Tahir; Das, Jishnu; Zajonc, Tristan (2006)


Khwaja, Asim, Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das, and Tristan Zajonc. 2006. “Religious School Enrollment In Pakistan: A Look At The Data”. Comparative Education Review 50 (3): 446-477.
In recent years, policy makers have expressed growing concern about Pakistan’s religious schools, which are commonly known as madrasas. These concerns have been fueled considerably by reports and articles in the popular press contending that madrasa enrollment is high and increasing. The “rise” is generally attributed to either an increasing preference for religious schooling among families or a lack of other viable schooling options for the household. Yet while these theories have widespread currency, none of the reports and articles that we have reviewed have based their analysis on publicly available data sources or established statistical methodologies. Given the importance that is placed on the subject by policy makers in Pakistan and internationally, it is troubling that these theories remain unconfirmed.