Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School
In the rural areas of developing countries, teacher absence is a widespread problem. This paper tests whether a simple incentive programme based on teacher presence can reduce teacher absence, and whether it has the potential to lead to more teaching activities and better learning. In 60 informal one-teacher schools in rural India, randomly chosen out of 120 (the treatment schools), a financial incentive programme was initiated to reduce absenteeism. The remaining 60 schools served as comparison schools. The introduction of the program resulted in an immediate decline in teacher absence.The programme positively affected child achievement levels: a year after the start of the programme, test scores in program schools were 0.17 standard deviations higher than in the comparison schools and children were 40 percent more likely to be admitted into regular schools.
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