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The surprisingly dire situation of children's education in rural west Africa: results from the CREO study in Guinea-Bissau

Boone, Peter and Fazzio, Ila and Jandhyala, Kameshwari and Jayanty, Chitra and Jayanty, Gangadhar and Johnson, Simon and Ramachandrin, Vimala and Silva, Filipa and Zhan, Zhaoguo (2013) The surprisingly dire situation of children's education in rural west Africa: results from the CREO study in Guinea-Bissau. CEP Discussion Papers, CEPDP1201. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Identification Number: CEPDP1201

Abstract

We conducted a survey covering 20% of villages with 200-1000 population in rural Guinea-Bissau. We interviewed household heads, care-givers of children, and their teachers and schools. We analysed results from 9,947 children, aged 7-17, tested for literacy and numeracy competency. Only 27% of children were able to add two single digits, and just 19% were able to read and comprehend a simple word. Our unannounced school checks found 72% of enrolled children in grades 1-4 attending their schools, but the schools were poorly equipped. Teachers were present at 86% of schools visited. Despite surveying 351 schools, we found no examples of successful schools where children reached reasonable levels of literacy and numeracy for age. Our evidence suggests that interventions that raise school quality in these villages, rather than those which target enrolment, may be most important to generate very sharp improvements in children’s educational outcomes.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?...
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
L Education > L Education (General)
JEL classification: F - International Economics > F3 - International Finance > F35 - Foreign Aid
H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H43 - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O55 - Africa
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Series: Working Papers > CEP Discussion Papers
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2013 08:33
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:33
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/51535

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