ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Priyanka PandeySubscribe to RSS - Priyanka Pandey

Survey at an IIT Campus Shows How Caste Affects Students' Perceptions

In order to further the discussion of appropriate policy interventions to reduce caste inequality, we need to understand better how caste affects individuals in their economic and social lives, how caste values affect perceptions, and the social and individual behaviours based on such perceptions that perpetuate inequality and deprivation for certain caste groups.

Learning Levels and Gaps in Pakistan

This paper reports on student achievement in public and private primary schools in rural Pakistan and compares the findings with those rom Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In Pakistan, absolute learning is low and the largest gaps are between good and bad government schools. The gap between children with literate and illiterate mothers is huge. Tested at the end of Grade 3, a bare majority of children have mastered the K-1 mathematics curriculum and only 31% can correctly form a sentence with the word "school" in Urdu. The gap in English test-scores between government and private schools is 12 times the gap between children from rich and poor families. Data from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh suggest similar levels of learning and educational gaps.

How Do Government and Private Schools Differ?

This paper uses primary survey data from government and private schools in the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to explore systematic differences between the two school types. Although private schools have higher raw mean scores than government schools, after controlling for observed student and school characteristics the private school advantage in test scores is not robust. The sources of private school advantage lie in the types of students choosing these schools, lower pupil teacher ratios and much lower teacher salaries. Private schools have seven to eight times lower teacher salaries but do not differ systematically in infrastructure and teacher effort from government schools. Given the large salary differential, private schools are more cost effective although quality of education is low in both school types.

Public Participation, Teacher Accountability and School Outcomes in Three States

This paper presents findings from baseline surveys on student learning achievement, teacher effort and community participation in three states - Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The results indicate low teacher attendance and poor student learning. Parents and school committees are neither aware of their oversight roles nor do they participate in school management. However, there is substantial heterogeneity in outcomes across states. Karnataka has better student and teacher outcomes, as well as higher levels of community awareness and participation than the other two states. The authors find substantial variation in teacher effort within schools, but most observable teacher characteristics are not associated with teacher effort. One reason for low teacher effort may be a lack of accountability. However, the gains in test scores associated with higher rates of teacher attendance and engagement in teaching are estimated to be small in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, suggesting that teachers themselves may not be effective.
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