The impact of mother literacy and participation programs on child learning: evidence from a randomized evaluation in India

Author(s): Berry, James; Shotland, Marc; Banerji, Rukmini

Date: 2013

Pages: 48 p.


The authors report the results of a randomized evaluation of three programs designed to improve the home learning environment among rural households in India. Households were assigned into one of four groups that received either: (1) adult literacy classes for mothers, (2) training for mothers on how to enhance their children’s learning at home, (3) a combination of the first two interventions, or (4) nothing, which serves as the control group. The authors find that mothers in the first three groups perform 0.11, 0.06, and 0.15 standard deviations better (respectively) on a combined language and math test when compared to the control group. They find that the three programs had statistically significant effects of 0.04, 0.05, and 0.07 standard deviations on children’s math scores (respectively), but only the combined intervention had significant effects on language scores. They also find that the interventions increased women’s empowerment, mother participation in child learning, and the presence of education assets in the home.

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