Mexico: Increasing Education Accountability through Community-Based Pedagogical Assistants

October 3, 2016

Empowering parents and ensuring they stay active in their children’s educational future can be a critical step to improving student learning in poorly-performing schools.  But many poor families may not have the tools to understand how to better advocate on their children’s behalf. Policy makers are exploring ways to more effectively get parents involved in their community schools, while also empowering teachers to become more successful in the classroom. 

Research area: Education

Country: Mexico

Evaluation Sample: 230 schools in Chiapas State

Timeline: 2014 - 2017

Intervention: Mobile pedagogical assistants, information, classroom support

Researchers: Ciro Avitabile, World Bank; David Evans, World Bank; Peter Holland, World Bank



In Mexico, where there is a large discrepancy in the quality of education between urban and rural schools, policy makers are looking for ways to decentralize decision making and encourage parents in indigenous communities to get more involved in their children’s schooling. As part of this effort, researchers are evaluating the effects of a program in Chiapas, one of the poorest states in Mexico, that sends mobile pedagogical assistants to underperforming remote primary schools to give parents information about the schools and provide classroom support to teachers. The assistants, who are recent university graduates, review school performance, distribute education information throughout the community, and tutor struggling students. Researchers will evaluate the effects of the program on student learning.


Researchers are using a randomized control trial design to randomly create two treatment groups and a control group. The first treatment group includes 70 schools that receive the basic mobile tutor intervention; the second treatment group includes 60 schools that receive the mobile tutor intervention with increased training and support; and the control group includes 100 schools that receive neither intervention. Researchers will measure if the mobile tutors successfully increase parental participation in school activities, improve the quality of the rural teachers, boost student learning and effect graduation rates from primary to lower secondary school.