Contributions of School Management, Governance and Accountability,
and Community Participation to Children’s Learning Outcomes:
August 24, 2011 — 3:45 p.m.
||Mariam Britel-Swift, USAID/Morocco
Jean Beaumont, Juarez & Associates
John Collins, USAID/Malawi
Aabira Sher Afghan, USAID/Malawi
Claire Spence, USAID/Jamaica
Jennifer Spratt, RTI International
Muhammad Tariq Khan, USAID/Pakistan
Luis Tolley, USAID/Ghana
Mary Tyler Holmes, USAID/Zambia
||Rebecca Adams, USAID Bureau for Asia and the Middle East
This session discussed recent evidence and distilled key lessons learned on the effect of school management, governance and accountability, and community participation on children’s learning outcomes. A diverse group of panelists shared their experiences from the field. To set the framework for the dialogue, the moderator began with a discussion of three development trends that have driven a resurgence in interest in the relevant factors that govern student performance: (a) school decentralization in the 1990s, (b) the conceptual convergence between the underlying elements that determine learning outcomes (Opportunities to Learn) and service delivery models, and (c) an increase in rigorous field studies on accountability.
Panelists explained how current and past projects to strengthen practices at the teacher, community, and national levels affected learning outcomes. Mariam Britel-Swift designed a component to train leaders in teacher support and developed new teacher training based on modules informed by best practices. Muhammad Tariq Khan spoke about an early childhood education program to retain girls in school that achieved a 95% retention rate through changes in pedagogical methods by targeting teachers, head teachers, and community members. In a similar vein, Claire Spence and Jean Beaumont targeted teachers to increase student proficiency in reading and mathematics. They developed instruments to assess proficiency in early grades and used the data to drive teacher training.
Aabira Sher Afghan’s project in Malawi targeted the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) to improve efficiencies in the procurement system. Through this pilot, schools were able to gain some autonomy. Luis Tolley’s project in Ghana aims to increase data-driven decisions at the local government level and increase community participation to improve accountability. Mary Tyler Holmes shared her projects in Zambia on community participation and information and communication technology (ICT) interventions to strengthen education management. The school water and sanitation facilities program, in which the community participates by supplying its own materials and labor, led to a greater retention rate of girls in schools. The ICT intervention resulted in personnel efficiencies by helping to computerize all paper-based files within the Ministry of Education.
Key take away points include the evidence and key lessons learned in school management, governance and accountability, and community participation shared in this session. Panelists described recent and current projects to strengthen practices at the teacher, community, and national level that affected learning outcomes.