Several studies have found that resources alone have limited impact on the quality of education in developing countries, while others have found that changes in pedagogy and incentives can have significant and large impacts. This paper compares increases in resources alone (changes in pupil-teacher ratios) to two frequently advocated (and implemented) changes in the organization of teaching: the use of locally hired teachers on short contracts, and the involvement of parents in the management of schools. We use data from 140 schools in Western Kenya, 70 of which were randomly selected to receive an extra contract teacher, and find that reducing the pupil-teacher ratio (from 82 to 43 on average), in the absence of any other changes, leads to reduced teacher effort, and to small and insignificant increases in test scores. In contrast, students who were (randomly) assigned to the contract teachers experience significant improvement in test scores, as did those who were in schools were school committees were given extra training.
Quality of education
Conditions of employment for teachers