Administrative divisions    

The preceding Map D.5 shows the disparities in school attendance among different age groups but also in geographical terms across the country. There were indications that the spatial patterns may relate to a number of factors such as ethnicity, poverty, etc. However, an important difference that has not been apparent is the gender related differences in school attendance.

At the national level, a relatively balanced number of 66.1% of all girls and 67.1% of all boys aged 6 to 9 were reported as currently at school. The difference increased for children aged 10 to 14 where 77.2% were girls and 85.0% were boys. Finally, for adolescents aged 15 to 19, girls attending school accounted for 33.3% and boys for 49.8%.

When we look at the three maps, we can distinguish a gradual shift from a mixed pink-and-green kaleidoscopic picture in the map presenting the sex ratio of 6-year-olds attending school, to a predominantly darker green picture in the map presenting the sex ratio of 15-year-olds attending school, with the dark green representing >200 male adolescents per 100 female adolescents. It should be noted that general spatial patterns should be focused on rather than isolated extreme values in certain villages which may result from very small sample sizes in villages, where the population is already small and hence the number of boys and girls attending school at a certain age becomes even smaller.

Nevertheless, we observe that generally speaking balanced sex ratios can only be found in regions where overall school attendance is high. Conversely, the fewer children attending school, the more girls will be disadvantaged.
In summary the sex ratio further accentuates the already pronounced disparities in school attendance shown in the previous map. 

These may be related to location, ethnicity, and other factors. This can be illustrated by some values drawn from the National Population and Housing Census data. Looking at the population that has never attended school, we can see that for males living in Vientiane Capital the figure is as low as 3.3%, whereas 48.6% of women in Oudomxay have never been to school. Furthermore, among boys and men belonging to the Lao ethnic family 7.7% never went to school, while 87.7% of Lolo girls never even started formal education.




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