Does access to sanitation and drinking water facilities relate to students’ learning outcomes? Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India

Student paper

Indian students fall substantially behind students from other countries in academic performance. A majority of students in India also do not have access to usable toilets and drinking water facilities. Some literature suggests that access to sanitation and
drinking water facilities is related to education outcomes, such as school enrollment rates, school attendance rates, and students’ cognitive functions.

The author assesses whether students who have greater access to usable toilets and drinking water facilities at school and home have higher test scores in Mathematics, English and Telugu.

In order to test this hypothesis, the author estimates an Ordinary Least Squares multivariate regression model using household-level and school-level survey data collected in Andhra Pradesh, India by the Young Lives Project. The author finds no relationship between access to household sanitation and drinking water facilities and test scores. However,  having at least one usable toilet and a drinking water source in schools is positively associated with English test scores.