JPAL: Evaluation of our Secondary School Readiness Programme

Evaluating our Secondary School Readiness Programme

 

In 2018, we commissioned a randomised impact evaluation of our Secondary School Readiness Programme. One of the first studies in India to test remedial education for secondary school students, the resulting evidence will have the potential to transform secondary education across the country.

About the programme

Despite progress in increasing the number of primary and secondary school in India, many secondary school students struggle to understand the secondary curriculum.To address this, we developed a Secondary School Readiness Programme. Using a combination of teacher training and teaching and learning resources, the programme helps students progress to the level of learning appropriate for the class they are in.What makes our programme innovative is that it aims to improve learning for all students, while also helping to bridge the learning gap for students with low learning levels.

  • The impact evaluation of the Secondary Schools Readiness Programme is one of the first studies in India to test remedial education – it has the potential to transform secondary education across the country.
  • Results from the pilot study showed learning gains equivalent to between 1.7 to 2.5 years of typical progress in school.
  • J-PAL are conducting a full randomised control trial in 2019-2020 involving 300 secondary schools in the State of Odisha.

About the research

We were excited to fund J-PAL South Asia to conduct a two-year randomised evaluation. The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research centre, working to reduce poverty by building scientific evidence for informed policy making. Our grant of £250,000 funds a pilot study in year one, followed by a full randomised controlled trial in year two. JPAL also contributed $50,000 from its Post Primary Education Initiative.

The main aims of the research are to rigorously evaluate:

  • the impact of the Secondary School Readiness Programme on student learning
  • its cost effectiveness

 

The evidence will inform strategies for improving the quality of secondary school education in India.

Results from the pilot stage of the study conducted in 2018 were promising: they showed that maths, English and science test scores in the treatment group were higher than the control group by between 1.7 to 2.5 years of typical progress in school.

J-PAL are conducting a full randomised control trial in 2019-2020 involving 300 secondary schools in the State of Odisha. 100 schools will receive the standard programme, 100 schools will be allowed to flexibly tailor the programme to the specific needs of their students, and 100 will serve as controls.

We are optimistic that our programme has the potential to have a positive impact on the development of secondary education across India, and beyond.

For more key findings, download our pilot report

“Almost all of the research on remedial education in India has been conducted at the primary level. We are not aware of any other remedial education programmes for secondary school pupils and Kusuma’s innovative Secondary School Readiness Programme therefore has enormous potential for transforming secondary education in India.”

Dr Christine Oliver, Head of Research, Kusuma Trust UK

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