ASER Centre

Evidence for action

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Understanding What Works in Oral Reading Assessments

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) led a collaborative project to formulate recommendations to guide practitioners when selecting, conducting and using oral reading assessments. The aim is to highlight basic principles that should be applied in the different stages of oral reading assessments—from planning and design to implementation and use of the resulting data. The report uses ASER data and the survey's methodology and processes in Chapters 3 and 4. Click here to access the report. 

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Teaching at the Right Level: The Government’s New Education Policy Must Include Solutions to Teach Students Basics 

Gautam Patel, a senior policy manager at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), in his article in The Caravan Magazine, highlights the need to 'teach at the right level' - using a case study of a scale-up programme jointly conducted by Pratham and JPAL in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh. The programme, which lasted approximately four months (January - April, 2016), showed promising results. Read the article here.

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The Case for Global Standardized Testing

Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, in his blog post compares the methodology and results of standardised tests such as PISA and PIRLS against grassroots, citizen-led assessment initiatives like ASER and Uwezo to make a case for why we need a global standardised testing regime.

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How can education systems become equitable by 2030?

This think piece, written by Pauline Rose and Benjamin Alcott, is part of a series commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). This paper identifies that learning inequalities start early in the primary school cycle, or even before children start school. It further shows that achieving a target central to the SDGs, namely ensuring all children, regardless of circumstance, are learning the basics by 2030, will require a step-change in progress over the next 15 years that will not be achieved by ‘business as usual’.

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Millions Learning: Scaling up Quality Education in Developing Countries

The Millions Learning report, released by Brookings Institution, examines where and how quality education has scaled in low- and middle-income countries around the world, with the ultimate goal of helping more children and youth gain access to high-quality learning experiences that lead to lasting improvements in their lives. The story emerges from wide-ranging research on scaling and learning, including 14 in-depth case studies from around the globe. ASER data has been cited in the report and its executive summary. Pratham's Read India program in particular serves as a case study in the report. 

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English in Education: Bihar State Profile 

This profile of Bihar aims to investigate educational systems in the state and the place of English within them. It presents a snapshot based on the most up-to-date research and statistics available at the time of writing this report. ASER data has been heavily cited in the report to evaluate the educational environment in primary and secondary schools in Bihar.

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Student Learning in South Asia - Challenges, Opportunities & Policy Priorities

Over the past decade, South Asia has made impressive strides in expanding access and improving enrollment in primary and lower secondary education. Despite these significant gains, this report documents that learning outcomes and the average level of skill acquisition in the region are low in both absolute and relative terms. ASER data has been extensively used in this study to understand what kinds of interventions hold promise for improving learning outcomes in South Asia and whether incentive structures in the system are aligned with countries’ learning goals. The study attempts to answer three questions: How well do education systems in South Asia perform? What determines student learning outcomes? What policy options are effective in improving learning outcomes, especially given increasing demand and competition for public resources?

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How Can Education Systems Become Equitable by 2030? DFID think pieces – Learning and equity

In this paper released in August 2015, authors, Pauline Rose, Professor of International Education and Benjamin Alcott, Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, cite ASER data to explain how learning inequalities start early in the primary school cycle, or even before children start school. Read the full paper here. For the blog post on the paper, click here.

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Learning Achievement at Elementary Level in Rural West Bengal 

Rabindranath Mukhopadhyay and Dibakar Chatterjee, Department of Economics, University of Calcutta, use ASER data to understand the current state of primary education in West Bengal with a focus on district-wise achievement levels. The paper also seeks to establish the correlation between gender, household income, mother's education, school type, tuition on learning outcomes. You can access it here.

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How Much Does India Spend on Elementary Education?

Ambrish Dongre, Fellow of the Centre for Policy Research and Avani Kapur of Accountability Initiative reveal estimates of annual public expenditure per student in government schools, and annual private expenditure per student for those enrolled in private schools, for 16 selected states in India. Read the paper here.

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Impact of Private Tutoring on Learning Levels: Evidence from India 

Ambrish Dongre, Fellow of the Centre for Policy Research and Vibhu Tewary, Research Analyst with Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi discuss the impact of private tutoring on learning outcomes of children in lower grades (1-8) in India. Read the full report here. The abbreviated version of the report was published by the Ideas for India blog. Read it here.

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Impact of Private Tutoring on Learning Levels: Evidence from India 

Ambrish Dongre, Fellow of the Centre for Policy Research and Vibhu Tewary, Research Analyst with Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi discuss the impact of private tutoring on learning outcomes of children in lower grades (1-8) in India. Read the full report here. The abbreviated version of the report was published by the Ideas for India blog. Read it here.

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Do “Child Friendly” Practices affect Learning? Evidence from Rural India

Sushmita Nalini Das's paper examines the effects of "child-friendly” practices on learning in rural India. These are a set of pedagogical practices intended to improve education outcomes by increasing children’s inclusion in their learning environment. This paper offers the first quantitative evidence of their impact. Click here to read the paper.

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11th EFA GMR : Teaching and Learning : Achieving Quality for All

The 11th Education For All Global Monitoring Report provides an update on the progress made by countries towards achieving those global education goals that were agreed upon in 2000. It also makes a powerful case for placing education at the heart of global development agenda after 2015. The Annual Status of Education Report findings have been used extensively in the 11th EFA Global Monitoring Report. Access the sections with ASER findings here. To read the full report, click here. Aaron Benavot's background paper for EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015: achievements and challenges can be found here.

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Cross-Country Review of Public Primary Education in Rural Context

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Columbia Global Centers and Model Districts Education Projects recently published a paper comparing public primary education systems in Rural Brazil, China, Indonesia and Mexico to provide suggestions for policy and practice reforms in India. Read the full report here.

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English Impact Story: Investigating English Language Learning Outcomes at the Primary School Level in Rural India

This joint study by ASER Centre and British Council presents an in-depth analysis of English teaching and skills of primary aged children in India. Read the full report here.

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World Bank Symposium: Assessment for Global Learning

The international symposium held in November 2013, brought together technical experts and policy researchers to provide a platform to review and discuss the existing menu of tools and approaches for monitoring and supporting student learning, and to explore how best they can be used or improved to meet the needs of the post-2015 development agenda. The ASER tool and approach finds a significant mention in this report on the symposium. 

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Chudgar, Amita. "Variation in Private School Performance: The Importance of Village Context". Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLVII, No. 11, March 17, 2012

Using ASER 2009 data, this paper investigates the linkage between private school performance and the contexts within which these schools operate. The results from this study indicate that the "positive private effect" or the private-public performance gap does vary based on the village context.  Read the full paper

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Investigating the Implications of School Provision and Supplemental Help: India Infrastructure Report - 2012

India Infrastructure Report 2012 discusses challenges in the education sector – elementary, secondary, higher and vocational – and explores strategies for constructive change and opportunities for the private sector. Dr Rukmini Banerji and Wilima Wadhwa co-authored Chapter 5 of this report, titled 'Investigating the Implications of School Provision and Supplemental Help'.  Read the chapter here.

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