“Because at school, you can become somebody” – The perceived health and economic returns on secondary schooling in rural Burkina Faso

Autoři: Luisa K. Werner aff001;  Jan Jabbarian aff001;  Moubassira Kagoné aff001;  Shannon McMahon aff001;  Julia Lemp aff001;  Aurélia Souares aff001;  Günther Fink aff005;  Jan-Walter De Neve aff001
Působiště autorů: Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH), Medical Faculty and University Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany aff001;  Faculty of Medicine, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany aff002;  Health Research Centre of Nouna (Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna—CRSN), Ministry of Health, Nouna, Burkina Faso aff003;  Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States aff004;  Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland aff005;  University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland aff006
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226911



The perceived returns on schooling are critical in schooling decision-making but are not well understood. This study examines the perceived returns on secondary schooling in Burkina Faso, where secondary school completion is among the lowest globally (<10%).


We conducted a two-staged qualitative study using semi-structured interviews (N = 49). In the first stage, we sampled students, dropouts, parents and teachers from a random sample of five schools (n = 39). In the second stage, we interviewed key informants knowledgeable of the school context using snowball sampling (n = 10). Systematic analysis was based on a grounded theory approach with a reading of transcripts, followed by coding of the narratives in NVivo 12.


Respondents nearly universally perceived health benefits to schooling. In particular, key health benefits included improved sexual and reproductive health outcomes, hygiene knowledge and practices, as well as better interactions with the formal health system. Common economic returns on schooling included improved employment opportunities and the provision of support to family members, in addition to generally attaining success and recognition. Indirect and long-term health returns, however, were infrequently mentioned by respondents.


While respondents reported nearly universally short-term health benefits to schooling, responses with regard to economic as well as indirect and long-term health benefits were more ambiguous. Future intervention studies on the perceived returns on formal education are needed to inform policy and reach education and health targets in the region.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – Employment – Health economics – Children – Labor economics – Language – Schools – Teachers


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2019 Číslo 12
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