Enrollment in primary and secondary schools in Uganda is increasing rapidly without corresponding increases in the number of schools and teachers. Researchers will study the impact of class size on teacher quality by running separate and slightly shorter teaching shifts. They will also study the effects of helping teachers with classroom management skills, and giving them non-financial performance incentives. Researchers will measure the effects of these interventions on student learning.
Research area: Education
Evaluation Sample: 200 schools
Timeline: 2012 - 2016
Intervention: Double Shifts; Teacher Guidance; Incentives, Schools
Researchers:Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Harvard University; James Habyarimana, Georgetown University; Shwetlena Sabarwal, World Bank; Innocent Mulindwa, World Bank; Pierre de Galbert, Harvard University
The introduction of universal education in developing countries – be it primary or secondary -- often results in larger classes, which can have the unintended consequence of hurting learning. Education experts are seeking new approaches for ensuring students are ready and able to learn, including steps to make teachers more effective. This evaluation will test the impact of splitting up classes while giving teachers guidance, and small incentives, on better teaching. The evidence will help Ugandan policymakers decide whether to expand or change their own program, while giving other countries information on whether such low-cost strategies can strengthen basic education at a time when enrollment is surging.
Uganda’s educational system is struggling in the face of the country’s explosive population growth. Each year, the number of children of primary school age increases by more than five percent, putting pressure on the education system to add classrooms and teachers to keep up. The introduction of free universal secondary education in 2007—universal primary education was introduced a decade earlier—added new pressures on the school system, leading to overcrowding in already stretched schools and classrooms. The Ministry of Education and Sports is trying to reduce overcrowding and improve learning in secondary schools by having schools operate in double shifts. While classes are smaller, because they are split into two, class time is also potentially shorter because teachers must teach two classes. At the request of the ministry, SIEF-supported researchers are evaluating whether double shifts in secondary schools, combined with an incentive program and more training for teachers, are improving the quality of education services.