Learner Variability in Impacts of Teaching at the Right Level

Over the next century, the largest increase in the world’s population will take place in Africa, bringing major challenges but also significant economic opportunities. Côte d’Ivoire (CIV)—a country on the southern coast of West Africa— is the largest producer of cocoa in the world. In rural cocoa-producing communities, poverty is extensive with many households surviving on $1-2 a day. Cocoa accounts for 74 percent of total income for the average Ivorian cocoa-growing household, which creates a great reliance on the crop. The pressure to produce cocoa often means it is a family affair—an estimated 1.3 out of 3.7 million school-aged children are working in cocoa production. At the same time, while the government is committed to expanding educational access through universal basic education for all children, educational quality and learning outcomes have not risen commensurately in cocoa growing regions. Lack of quality and relevant education can push children out of school and into family farming. 

Our team partners with the Ivorian Ministry of Education to evaluate a program they are scaling nationally that provides targeted instruction to children in primary grades 3-5 to improve education quality. The CERES submission will allow us to maximize our understanding of the program by expanding our evaluation to all three grade levels, and will provide critical insights into who responds best to the program and why. The existing study focuses on impacts on teaching practices and learning outcomes for children in grades 3 and 4. We propose to extend the data collection to additionally investigate impacts on children in grade 5. This will allow us to understand impacts during a critical juncture for grade progression to junior high school.

Project Team