Supporting learning in and out of school: experimental evidence from India

Author(s): Björkman-Nyqvist, Martina; Guariso, Andrea

Date: 2021

Pages: 45 p.

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In this paper we study an innovative education program designed to address two challenges faced by many primary school children in developing countries: 1) the gap between their actual knowledge and the level targeted by teachers in class, 2) the lack of support for their studying and learning activities outside of school hours. The program, implemented in India, combines an in-school pedagogical intervention with the creation of out-of-school study groups. We designed a randomized experiment with factorial design to assess the effectiveness of the full program as well as of its individual in-school and out-of-school components. Results show that the full program significantly increases test scores in both mathematics and language. However, when implemented independently, the two components have no impact. The analysis reveals the importance of the timing and the intensity of the programs and finds evidence of inputs substitution taking place in the schools. Overall, the findings indicate that learning programs are more likely to succeed when they adopt a multidimensional approach and strengthen the children’s learning process both in and out of school.

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