The Surprisingly Dire Situation of Children's Education in Rural West Africa: Results from the CREO Study in Guinea-Bissau
AbstractWe 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1201.
Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Education; Africa; survey results; numeracy; literacy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- O55 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
- F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2013-05-05 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-05-05 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2013-05-05 (Education)
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