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Reporting on Education
What You Need to Know
David K. Evans
World Bank
1
November 10, 2016
impactAFRICA webinar
What we’ll do in this webinar
1. What are the big issues in education?
2. How should we even think about education?
3. How...
A few big issues
3
All photos in this presentation that are not in news clips are from the World Bank Flickr feed
Access and quality
Africa has made major strides
in education access.
But there are still far too
many children out of sch...
Access and quality
Quality education is a major struggle.
5
Average math score (Grade 4) on TIMSS
Source:MathematicsEducat...
Access and quality
Quality education is a major struggle.
6
Average math score (Grade 4) on TIMSS
Average math score (Grad...
This comes up in the news
7
http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php/news/2374-liberia-s-education-sector-still-low-comp...
This comes up in the news
8
http://www.maravipost.com/11-candidates-score-6-points-check-2016-malawi-school-certificate-of...
Point to
Remember
When there is an intervention on
access, is it affecting quality?
When we seek to improve quality, what
...
Private versus public sector
10% of primary school students in
private schools
Malawi 1%
Mozambique 2%
South Africa 4%
Nam...
Private versus public sector
11
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-a1ff-Uganda-Teachers-hail-ruling-against-tin-shack-s...
Private versus public sector
12
http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/11/09/kenya-teachers-take-after-uganda-want-uk-backed-...
Point to
Remember
What are private school
expansions likely to do for access?
What about quality?
13
There are many others!
Teachers Exams
14
http://allafrica.com/stories/201611090084.html http://allafrica.com/stories/20161...
The direct factors in education
15
But that’s not all the players
16
And everyone reacts to everyone else
17
Point to
Remember
With a new education policy that affects
one actor, how will it affect others?
(Teacher policies on stud...
How to governments and NGOs seek to improve
education?
Providing
information
Providing
information
Public-private
partners...
Each of these focuses on enrollment, or attendance, or
learning (or a combination)
Providing
information
Providing
informa...
Point to
Remember
• Who is an education policy or
program principally affecting?
• What mechanism is it working
through?
•...
Do we know
anything about
what actually
works?
I did a recent study on this with
Anna Popova.
22
Source: Evans and Popova,...
Massive expansion in evidence
Recent years have seen an explosion in evidence on
learning
Six reviews over last two year...
What works: (1) Pedagogical interventions that match
teaching to individual student learning levels
- Assessment in Liberi...
…including computer-assisted learning (CAL)
25
- Use math software to help students learn at their own pace in India
(Bane...
What works: (2) Individualized, repeated teacher training
- Train teachers and provide them with regular mentoring to
impl...
… often associated with a specific method or task
27
- Combine student reading groups with in-school
supervisors to provid...
Many other types of programs have been effective in a
given context.
• Deworming in Kenya led to more school
participation...
Point to
Remember
When reporting on a proposed
policy or program, is there evidence
from other countries that can inform
y...
A few tips
30
Tip 1: Use the dual lens of access and quality
How will this affect children’s access
to education?
How will it affect how...
Tip 2: Beyond the direct players, who is affected?
32
Tip 3: Not just speeches but actual programs
33
Tip 3: Not just speeches but actual programs
34
Tip 3: Not just speeches but actual programs
What else to report on?
• New policies
• New programs from government or non-...
Tip 4: Complement reporting with real data
• World Bank – World Development Indicators: http://data.worldbank.org/data-cat...
Tip 4: Complement reporting with real data
Data will also come from global and regional reports
• Annual: The Global Educa...
Tip 5: Complement reporting with evidence of impact
• In Tanzania, there is a major cash transfer initiative, with conditi...
Tip 5: Complement reporting with evidence of impact
• Where to find this evidence?
• Check reviews of evidence:
https://si...
Tip 6: People, not just programs
Education is about learners. Journalists have a unique opportunity to make
data and stati...
Tip 6: People, not just programs
This applies to reporting on studies as well.
• Who are the researchers?
• Why did they a...
Education matters
• No country escapes poverty without quality education.
• Good reporting can hold policy makers accounta...
Don’t miss the previous impactAFRICA webinars
• Measuring the impact of development projects
• Early childhood nutrition, ...
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Reporting on Education: What You Need to Know

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This presentation provides tips for journalists covering education, gives a broad overview of education issues in Africa, and poses a few solutions. It was delivered as part of the impactAfrica webinar series, available here: http://impactafrica.fund/webinars.

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Reporting on Education: What You Need to Know

  1. 1. Reporting on Education What You Need to Know David K. Evans World Bank 1 November 10, 2016 impactAFRICA webinar
  2. 2. What we’ll do in this webinar 1. What are the big issues in education? 2. How should we even think about education? 3. How should we think about education programs? 4. What actually works to improve educational outcomes? 5. Tips 6. Resources 2
  3. 3. A few big issues 3 All photos in this presentation that are not in news clips are from the World Bank Flickr feed
  4. 4. Access and quality Africa has made major strides in education access. But there are still far too many children out of school! 4 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1975 1978 1981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011 Decreasing children out of school Adolescents out of school (% of lower secondary school age) Children out of school (% of primary school age)
  5. 5. Access and quality Quality education is a major struggle. 5 Average math score (Grade 4) on TIMSS Source:MathematicsEducationinSub-SaharanAfrica,byGeorgeBethell
  6. 6. Access and quality Quality education is a major struggle. 6 Average math score (Grade 4) on TIMSS Average math score (Grade 4) on SACMEQ3 Source:MathematicsEducationinSub-SaharanAfrica,byGeorgeBethell
  7. 7. This comes up in the news 7 http://frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php/news/2374-liberia-s-education-sector-still-low-compared-to-international-standard
  8. 8. This comes up in the news 8 http://www.maravipost.com/11-candidates-score-6-points-check-2016-malawi-school-certificate-of-education-examination-results-here/
  9. 9. Point to Remember When there is an intervention on access, is it affecting quality? When we seek to improve quality, what is the impact on access? 9
  10. 10. Private versus public sector 10% of primary school students in private schools Malawi 1% Mozambique 2% South Africa 4% Namibia 5% Sierra Leone 8% Madagascar 19% Togo 27% 20% of secondary school students in private schools South Africa 5% Malawi 6% Sierra Leone 7% Mozambique 12% Tanzania 21% Togo 23% Madagascar 40% 10 Source: World Development Indicators In some countries, such as Liberia, there have been steps to dramatically expand private provision.
  11. 11. Private versus public sector 11 https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-a1ff-Uganda-Teachers-hail-ruling-against-tin-shack-school-profiteers
  12. 12. Private versus public sector 12 http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/11/09/kenya-teachers-take-after-uganda-want-uk-backed-private-schools-banned_c1453098
  13. 13. Point to Remember What are private school expansions likely to do for access? What about quality? 13
  14. 14. There are many others! Teachers Exams 14 http://allafrica.com/stories/201611090084.html http://allafrica.com/stories/201611070083.html
  15. 15. The direct factors in education 15
  16. 16. But that’s not all the players 16
  17. 17. And everyone reacts to everyone else 17
  18. 18. Point to Remember With a new education policy that affects one actor, how will it affect others? (Teacher policies on students. Input policies on teachers.) 18
  19. 19. How to governments and NGOs seek to improve education? Providing information Providing information Public-private partnerships Remedial education Teacher training Merit-based scholarships Cash transfers School-based management New schools and infrastructure Hiring teachers School-based health Reducing fees Community-based monitoring Providing materials Teacher incentives and accountability School feeding Extra time Grouping by ability 19 Source: Snilstveit et al., “The impact of education programmes on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries,” 2016.
  20. 20. Each of these focuses on enrollment, or attendance, or learning (or a combination) Providing information Providing information Public-private partnerships Remedial education Teacher training Merit-based scholarships Cash transfers School-based management New schools and infrastructure Hiring teachers School-based health Reducing fees Community-based monitoring Providing materials Teacher incentives and accountability School feeding Extra time Grouping by ability 20 Source: Snilstveit et al., “The impact of education programmes on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries,” 2016.
  21. 21. Point to Remember • Who is an education policy or program principally affecting? • What mechanism is it working through? • How will it affect other actors? 21
  22. 22. Do we know anything about what actually works? I did a recent study on this with Anna Popova. 22 Source: Evans and Popova, “What really works to improve learning in developing countries?” 2016
  23. 23. Massive expansion in evidence Recent years have seen an explosion in evidence on learning Six reviews over last two years on the same topic: How to improve learning outcomes for children in low and middle income countries We went through these reviews and found what they had in common 0 50 100 150 200 250 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Cumulative learning studies 227 total studies 32 total studies 23
  24. 24. What works: (1) Pedagogical interventions that match teaching to individual student learning levels - Assessment in Liberia: Train teachers to use an initial reading assessment and then continually assess student performance (Piper & Korda 2011) - Tracking in Kenya: Assign students to separate classes based on initial ability so that teachers can focus instruction at the level of learning of individual students (Duflo, Dupas & Kremer 2011) - Assessment & tracking in India: Teach daily Hindi sessions tailored to ability on initial test, regardless of age or grade (Duflo et al 2015) 24
  25. 25. …including computer-assisted learning (CAL) 25 - Use math software to help students learn at their own pace in India (Banerjee et al. 2007) - Provide laptops including learning software & games linked to the curriculum to students in China (Mo et al. 2012) - But just giving out laptops or desktop computers won’t guarantee gains • One Laptop Per Child in Peru unaccompanied by parent or student training (Cristia et al., 2012) & mainly used to search the internet in Uruguay (De Melo et al. 2014) • Computers not tied to curriculum or integrated into classroom instruction in Colombia (Barrera-Osorio & Linden, 2009)
  26. 26. What works: (2) Individualized, repeated teacher training - Train teachers and provide them with regular mentoring to implement early grade reading instruction in local language in Kenya & Uganda (Lucas et al. 2014) - Provide local contract teachers with two weeks of initial training but reinforcement throughout the year in India (Banerjee et al. 2007) 26
  27. 27. … often associated with a specific method or task 27 - Combine student reading groups with in-school supervisors to provide ongoing guidance to group leaders in Chile (Cabezas et al. 2012) - Help teachers learn to use storybooks and flash cards in India (He et al. 2009) • As opposed to a similar (not identical) program introduced without teacher preparation (He et al. 2008)
  28. 28. Many other types of programs have been effective in a given context. • Deworming in Kenya led to more school participation and better labor market outcomes • Providing information on the returns to education improved both attendance and learning in Madagascar • Building rural roads improved attendance and learning in India 28
  29. 29. Point to Remember When reporting on a proposed policy or program, is there evidence from other countries that can inform your country’s experience? 29
  30. 30. A few tips 30
  31. 31. Tip 1: Use the dual lens of access and quality How will this affect children’s access to education? How will it affect how effectively they learn? 31
  32. 32. Tip 2: Beyond the direct players, who is affected? 32
  33. 33. Tip 3: Not just speeches but actual programs 33
  34. 34. Tip 3: Not just speeches but actual programs 34
  35. 35. Tip 3: Not just speeches but actual programs What else to report on? • New policies • New programs from government or non-government organizations • New studies of programs in your country 35
  36. 36. Tip 4: Complement reporting with real data • World Bank – World Development Indicators: http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world- development-indicators • Service Delivery Indicators (detailed education outcomes across several African countries): http://www.sdindicators.org/ • The Demographic and Health Surveys: http://dhsprogram.com/data/ • Local surveys • Uwezo in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda - http://www.uwezo.net/ • Household surveys 36
  37. 37. Tip 4: Complement reporting with real data Data will also come from global and regional reports • Annual: The Global Education Monitoring Report http://en.unesco.org/gem-report/ • The Education Commission http://report.educationcommission.org/ • The World Bank’s World Development Report on Education [coming next year!] • Regional – Mathematics Education in Sub-Saharan Africa : Status, Challenges, and Opportunities https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/ 25289 37
  38. 38. Tip 5: Complement reporting with evidence of impact • In Tanzania, there is a major cash transfer initiative, with conditions on whether children stay in school. • There was a pilot initiative there in Tanzania 38
  39. 39. Tip 5: Complement reporting with evidence of impact • Where to find this evidence? • Check reviews of evidence: https://sites.google.com/site/davidkevans/database-of-education-studies • Search for “impact evaluation” and “class size reduction” or “computer- assisted learning” or “…” 39
  40. 40. Tip 6: People, not just programs Education is about learners. Journalists have a unique opportunity to make data and statistics come alive with the stories of students. • Very few people are moved by statistics. They are moved by stories. • Choose stories that demonstrate the truth about programs: If 90% of students failed to benefit from a program, make sure you tell some of their stories. (Not just the 10%.) 40
  41. 41. Tip 6: People, not just programs This applies to reporting on studies as well. • Who are the researchers? • Why did they ask this question? • Am I getting their results right? Most researchers are desperate for their evidence to make it into the media. They want to talk with you. 41
  42. 42. Education matters • No country escapes poverty without quality education. • Good reporting can hold policy makers accountable and keep citizens motivated and informed. • Thank you for your service! 42
  43. 43. Don’t miss the previous impactAFRICA webinars • Measuring the impact of development projects • Early childhood nutrition, health and education • How journalists can use data to improve reporting on water and sanitation issues • Reporting on mother and child healthcare • All available at http://impactafrica.fund/webinars 43

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