In development discourse, schooling is considered a compulsory ritual of childhood and work as a solely adult activity. Despite international bans on child labour, children still participate in the workforce. Moreover, temporary support by children into the family business, household activities and sometimes apprenticeships are part of growing up process. This leads to a constant tension between the idea of children working and their childhood right to education. Literature on children’s work and schooling lacks empirical research on the contextual realities of children working and going to school. This study takes a constructivist approach to understanding why and how a group of children combine both work and schooling, bringing out the macro and micro factors influencing these decisions. Based on interactions with children living Delhi, India, using a set of innovative, child-friendly participatory methods, I found that both work and schooling are linked to children’s future aspirations, hence children develop strategies to manage work and schooling, navigate their way across opportunities and challenges.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Children’s work, Children’s schooling, Decision making, Partners
Thesis Advisor Cheney, Kristen
Persistent URL
Series Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
Singha, Sujan. (2019, December 20). Navigating Work and Schooling: Co-production of Knowledge with Working School Children in Delhi, India. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from