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Title: Essays on school nutrition and health programs
Author: Deepthi, Divya
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 4334
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis investigates the impact of School Nutrition and Health programs implemented by the Government in Public primary schools in India. Section A focuses on evaluating the National Program of Nutritional support to Primary Education launched in 1995. Under this scheme, children enrolled in government primary schools received 3 kilograms of food grains per month, free of cost, conditional on enrolment and a minimum attendance requirement. In chapter 1, we provide a detailed survey of the related literature, highlighting the multi-dimensional impacts of these programs on educational and health outcomes. In Chapter 2, we evaluate the impact of the School feeding program (SFP) in India on primary school starting age and enrolment using the National sample survey. We adopt two methodological frameworks to estimate the program impact, namely, a difference-in-differences (DID) technique and duration analysis. The findings indicate that the program was effective in increasing enrolment and encouraging children to start school at the stipulated entry age. In chapter 3, we study the impact of the SFP in India on primary school completion using the District Level Household survey. Using the DID methodology, we find that the program had a positive effect on primary school completion, with differential effects by gender and years of program exposure. Additionally, we identify whether the program generated positive educational externalities between siblings in the family. Section B of this thesis evaluates a complementary policy, The School Health Program implemented in Government primary schools in Karnataka, India. The program provided free health services to students in public schools, consisting of- micronutrient supplements, deworming treatment and regular health screenings by Doctors at the school premises. We investigate whether this program was effective in improving pupils’ educational and health status. Using administrative data on student’s academic and health records collected from public schools, we find that the program led to an increase in school participation measures and academic performance, with heterogeneous effects across subjects and performance distribution. The program impacts on anthropometric indicators are positive, but statistically insignificant for both boys and girls. We conclude that School Nutrition and Health programs are extremely beneficial in a developing country context to improve children’s educational and health status, by lowering schooling costs and by providing parents with incentives to send their children to school. These programs have the potential to improve future welfare and quality of life, through increased educational attainment and improved health and nutrition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; Overseas Fieldwork ; Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) ; Department of Economics
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education