IMPACT OF PARENTAL MIGRATION ON CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE: EVIDENCE FROM SRI LANKA
International labour migration has been one of the key sources of employment generation and foreign exchange earnings for Sri Lanka since early 1980s. A sizable share of the total migrants fall 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 children left behind. By employing a mixed method, this study collected quantitative data by administering a questionnaire for a sample of randomly selected households and key informant interviews and in-depth interviews were conducted in collecting qualitative data. Both descriptive and regression analyses were employed in data analysis and results obtained from the above techniques were further enriched by incooperating 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. Aiming at strengthening the above findings, this study employed a logistic regression framework in examining the effect of migration of educational performance where the dependent variable was self-assessment on performance at
school-level test. A number of explanatory variables were introduced in order to control household level factors affecting educational performance. The results clearly indicated that migration status has no effect on educational achievement. Nevertheless, the researchers found strong statistical evidence to suggest that educational performance is lower among children whose mother has migrated. In other words, probability is high that children households of mother being a migrant to perform poorly in tests conducted at school-level. Mothers get involved through a number of ways to improve childrens educational achievements and their absence at home negatively affects childrens educational performance. It is imperative that policy makers pay urgent attention to mitigate the above impacts.
Keywords: Labour Migration, Children Left-behind, Education, Logit Model, Sri Lanka