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Moussa Blimpo, World Bank

Scaling Up School Readiness: Experimental Evidence from The Gambia
When Feb 19, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

Early childhood experiences lay the foundation for outcomes later in life. Large shares of children in Africa enter formal education without prior exposure to any structured pre-school program, including contact with, and practice of, the instructional language. Policymakers face a dual challenge of promoting access and quality in pre-school services, but evidence on how to manage this tradeoff is scarce. In early 2010’s, The Gambia government developed a comprehensive curriculum and decided to experimentally test it with two approaches to delivering pre-school services nationally. In the first experiment, new community-based centers were introduced to randomly chosen villages that had no pre-existing structured services. Another group of communities, which did not receive the program, served as a comparison group. In the second experiment, existing kindergartens tied to primary schools, known as Annexes, were randomly split into two groups. One group received the new curriculum along with comprehensive training for effective implementation, while the other group received the curriculum only and served as control group. We found evidence that both programs show significant heterogeneous impact, while not raising significantly the overall average levels of school readiness measured by a standardized assessment of language and fine motor skills. Children from more advantaged households improved less when exposed to community-based ECD centers, while more disadvantaged children benefitted from provider training in existing Annexes.  

About the Speaker

Moussa Blimpo

Moussa is an Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region(AFRCE) at the World Bank. Prior to this position, he was an Assistant Professor of economics and international studies at the University of Oklahoma(2012-2015). He completed his Ph.D. in economics from New York University in 2010 and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University's Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). His research interest focuses on a wide range of socio-economic policy questions on African economies. His research covered issues of decentralization of school governance, student incentives, entrepreneurship education in secondary schools, and early childhood investment in Africa countries.

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