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The Surprisingly Dire Situation of Children's Education in Rural West Africa: Results from the CREO Study in Guinea-Bissau (Comprehensive Review of Education Outcomes)

In: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital

Author

Listed:
  • Peter Boone
  • Ila Fazzio
  • Kameshwari Jandhyala
  • Chitra Jayanty
  • Gangadhar Jayanty
  • Simon Johnson
  • Vimala Ramachandran
  • Filipa Silva
  • Zhaoguo Zhan

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 enrollment, may be most important to generate very sharp improvements in children's educational outcomes.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Boone & Ila Fazzio & Kameshwari Jandhyala & Chitra Jayanty & Gangadhar Jayanty & Simon Johnson & Vimala Ramachandran & Filipa Silva & Zhaoguo Zhan, 2014. "The Surprisingly Dire Situation of Children's Education in Rural West Africa: Results from the CREO Study in Guinea-Bissau (Comprehensive Review of Education Outcomes)," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital, pages 255-280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sebastian Fehrler & Katharina Michaelowa & Annika Wechtler, 2009. "The Effectiveness of Inputs in Primary Education: Insights from Recent Student Surveys for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(9), pages 1545-1578.
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    Cited by:

    1. Buhl-Wiggers, Julie & Kerwin, Jason & Muñoz, Juan Sebastián & Smith, Jeffrey A. & Thornton, Rebecca L., 2020. "Some Children Left Behind: Variation in the Effects of an Educational Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 13598, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Fazzio, Ila & Eble, Alex & Lumsdaine, Robin L. & Boone, Peter & Bouy, Baboucarr & Hsieh, Pei-Tseng Jenny & Jayanty, Chitra & Johnson, Simon & Silva, Ana Filipa, 2021. "Large learning gains in pockets of extreme poverty: Experimental evidence from Guinea Bissau," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 199(C).
    3. Gabrielle Wills, 2017. "What do you mean by ‘good’? The search for exceptional primary schools in South Africa’s no-fee school system," Working Papers 16/2017, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    4. Todd Pugatch & Elizabeth Schroeder, 2018. "Teacher pay and student performance: evidence from the Gambian hardship allowance," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 249-276, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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