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ERIC Number: ED537534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 158
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-6873-3
Essays on the Economics of Education in Developing Countries
Sharma, Uttam
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
This dissertation focuses on a key challenge facing developing countries intent on enhancing their human capital base--namely, the issue of quality. One of the chapters evaluates the effectiveness of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative in Nepal's primary and lower-secondary schools. Although the OLPC program is being heavily promoted in many developing countries, no rigorous evaluation has been completed of its impact on student learning. It is essential that developing countries fully understand the effect of laptop provision on different education outcomes before such a program is scaled up. My evaluation of the OLPC program in Nepal uses a pre-post test quasi-experimental design that consists of 26 program schools and 39 control schools that are spread across six different districts of the country. Data were collected on more than 6500 students from those 65 public primary and lower-secondary schools. Teachers in the program schools were trained in ICT-integrated teaching and learning before students were provided with laptops. A low-cost laptop was provided to each student in grades two, three and six of the program schools at the beginning of the Nepali academic year (May 2009). At the same time, a round of tests in English and mathematics was administered to all students in grades two, three, four and six in both program and control schools. During the 2009-2010 school year, laptop-based teaching and learning approaches were integrated in the regular classroom process in the program schools to teach these subjects. The same students were given similar tests in February 2010 and in June/July 2011. In addition, student, household and teacher surveys were conducted in all three rounds. The impact of the OLPC program is estimated by analyzing how the program and control schools differ in terms of changes in test scores (double difference comparisons between schools and within schools), attendance rates and measures of non-cognitive skills. The study also examined how the estimates of the impact vary by student type (for example by gender and socio-economic status). The exposure to computer-assisted learning in Nepal had no impact or a negative impact on student learning, non-cognitive skills and attendance. Students from grade 2 in treatment schools did particularly poorly in year-end English tests compared to control school students. The second chapter focuses on the two-tier education system in Nepal, where pass rates on the Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination in public schools are less than half those in private schools in most years. Little is known about public and private schooling in this country, and this topic assumes a growing importance as one of the major political parties regularly in power is wary of the role private school plays in the development of the country. Using unique data from a large-scale nationally representative high school survey conducted in Nepal in 2005 that collected information from schools, teachers and students, this study examines the determinants of school selection and explores the impact of private schools on student learning. The results suggest there are large private school effects in test scores. However, the impact of private schools varies across subject. As expected, the economic condition of the household is statistically significant in determining whether the student attends a private school. However, the economic status of household is not statistically significant in predicting student test scores once private school selection is accounted for. Students who reported their teachers mostly taught the entire period, on average, had a higher test scores. The data also suggest that policies to encourage reading habits both at home and in school may improve test scores in public schools. In addition, students' in public schools that have lower proportion of permanent teachers also did better, on average, than those in public schools with higher proportion of permanent teachers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 6; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nepal