Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

Topic

 
Figure showing repetition rates between 2020 and 2021 for different demographics. Across the board, rates have risen, except for students in private school

What Happened to Senegalese Students after the COVID-19 School Closure?

CGD in collaboration with the Centre de recherche pour le développement économique et social (CRDES) conducted a face-to-face survey at the national level to measure the adverse effects of the pandemic in schools and among Senegalese students. The survey took place in May 2021 with 984 households and 182 schools surveyed throughout the country. This blog post summarizes some of the key findings of the household survey.

What Happened to Dropout Rates after COVID-19 School Closures in Ghana?

Like most countries across the world, Ghana closed schools for long stretches of 2020. In this blog, we present findings from a nationally representative household survey carried out in March 2021 on the effects of the pandemic on education in the country.

An image of an African mother helping her daughter with school.

How Do Early Child Development Interventions Affect Mothers? In Most Cases, We Don’t Know.

Lots of children in low- and middle-income countries do not receive the nutrition or stimulation in early childhood that will help them thrive later in life. In recent years, many countries (along with their international partners) have increased investments in programs seeking to meet that need: parent training classes, increased access to daycare and preschool programs, nutrition supplementation, cash support, and more.

Chart showing that the actual pass rates and the rates of our sample, with the same students sitting for multiple tests, show almost identical variation year-to-year

Can Ghana Maintain School Quality After Abolishing Secondary School Fees? We May Never Know.

Each year over two million secondary-school students across Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia sit coordinated tests known as the WASSCE. In a new CGD working paper, undertaken by researchers from CGD and IEPA-Ghana, we look at English and maths papers in West Africa’s leading high-stakes exams and show that they can vary significantly in difficulty from year-to-year. If exams are not comparable over time then this has implications for countries that rely on results as they make education policy and for fairness for the candidates who sit them.

A country map of global lawfulness of corporal punishment in schools.

Violence in Schools Is Pervasive and Teachers Are Often the Perpetrators. Here Are Five Ways to Prevent It.

We examine the problem of teacher violence, drawing on studies from low- and middle-income countries. Teacher-perpetrated violence is widespread and unacceptable and the education sector must do more to eliminate it from schools. We offer five strategies that we hope will be helpful for policymakers, practitioners, planning interventions, and donors funding interventions.

Slide laying out features of teacher PFP programs, from who and what gets rewarded to the structure of rewards.

Teacher Pay for Performance: Does It Really Work?

We were asked: were teacher pay for performance schemes, where teachers are rewarded for better performance, the way to go? So, we embarked on a comprehensive review of the literature on teacher PFP in low and middle-income countries to help answer the big question—does it really work? Our team’s conditional “perhaps, but possibly not” answer was not very inspiring.

 Figure. Potential pathways from foundational literacy and numeracy to life outcomes

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Skills Are Important, Obviously. But Are They More Important than All Other Education Investments?

It’s rare to read an education report these days that doesn’t mention the learning crisis. That’s not surprising. Literacy and numeracy skills among children are dismally low: less than half of all children in low- and middle-income countries can read by the time they are 10 years old. As these data have emerged in recent years, the global education community has swung its focus sharply toward learning.

Peeling led paint on the side of a house

Biden Wants to Eliminate Lead Poisoning in American Children. We Propose an Even More Ambitious Goal: Global Eradication.

We applaud the Biden Administration's effort to address lead poisoning in the US. But we suggest Biden adopt an even more ambitious goal: not just national elimination, but global eradication of lead poisoning, especially in children. A global eradication campaign—modelled loosely on prior and ongoing global efforts to eradicate smallpox, polio, and guinea worm, mixed with inspiration from the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control—would offer a tremendous contribution to global welfare, economic growth, and even world peace. An American-led effort to eliminate lead poisoning globally could be an international moonshot elevating the Biden administration’s international statue and legacy.

An empty classroom in Sikkim, India

US Congress Raises Alarm on Global Learning Loss and Inequality

The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently advanced the Global Learning Loss Assessment Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation shines a light on the critical issue of learning loss—and the impacts of disrupted education more broadly—as schools around the world closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a quick overview of the evidence to date—and why it’s important that lawmakers (and USAID) are casting a watchful eye on global learning and inequality.

Pages