Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Pauline Rose, Faculty of Education/University of Cambridge
Anna Vignoles, Faculty of Education/University of Cambridge
Nidhi Singal, Faculty of Education/ University of Cambridge
Monazza Aslam, Institute of Education/University of London
Shenila Rawal, Institute of Education/University College London
Faisal Bari, IDEAS/ Pakistan
Rabea Malik, IDEAS/ Pakistan
Anuradha De, CORD/India
Lydia Whitaker, Faculty of Education/University of Cambridge
Overall theme and objective of the panel:
The Sustainable Development Goals emphasise the importance of ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’. Yet children from poor households, and among these, girls and children with disabilities in particular, are at a greater risk of being excluded and least likely to achieve basic learning. Focusing on research conducted in India and Pakistan, this panel will aim to:
- Analyse how learning assessment data can be used to identify those from the most disadvantaged groups.
- Share evidence on how disability intersects with other forms of disadvantage, such as poverty and gender, to shape inclusion/exclusion in educational access and learning.
- Identify the school- and teacher-related factors that explain inequitable learning.
There are a number of similarities and differences between the India’s and Pakistan’s education policy environment that makes a comparison of interest. Both India and Pakistan have in place policies aimed at addressing the Right to Education for all children, regardless of their background. In India, the vast majority now enrol in primary school, while access remains elusive for the most disadvantaged in Pakistan. Moreover, both countries continue to be faced with significant challenges in their education system, notably low levels of learning are pervasive, with inadequate resourcing reinforcing the problem.
This panel brings together three presentations from an on-going research project, “Teaching Effectively All Children” (TEACh) funded by ESRC and DFID. This mixed methods project involves data collection from both households and schools to examine intersecting inequality in access and quality of schooling, including a specific focus on children with disabilities.
With reference to different aspects of the research, the three presentations in this panel draw out important policy implications for the development of inclusive and equitable education in poorly-resourced contexts.
Paper 1: Learning from assessments in India and Pakistan to ensure no one is left behind
Pauline Rose (presenter), Anuradha De, Faisal Bari, Rabea Malik, Lydia Whitaker
While much debate has focused on whether learning outcomes should be used to monitor and rank education systems, less attention has been given to who is not learning and why they are not learning. This paper reviews existing learning assessments that have been used in India and Pakistan to examine how these assessments have been used with this aim. More specifically, the paper reports on learning outcome data collected in Haryana, India and Punjab Pakistan as part of the TEACh study. It demonstrates that by combining existing measures, we are able to effectively assess and include children from across the attainment spectrum. Finally, we examine how different children respond to different test items, and question whether assessments focused solely on the number of correct and incorrect answers are useful for informing teaching and policy. By paying greater attention to what we are assessing, who is being assessed, and the purpose of these assessments, learning outcome data can be more effectively used to inform strategies to improve the quality of education, including those from the most disadvantaged groups.
Paper 2: Supporting educational access and participation of children with disabilities: evidence from a household survey in rural India
Authors: Nidhi Singal (presenter), Pauline Rose and Anuradha De
India is one of the few countries in the global South with clear policies and national programmes focused on inclusive education, particularly on increasing the enrolment of children with disabilities. While these are noteworthy developments, there are significant concerns around the quality of provision.
This paper discusses findings from a survey of 900 households in three districts in rural Haryana. The household survey data gathered is very comprehensive and is particularly focused on education of children between 8-12 years including their disability status. In discussing our findings, we focus on prevalence rates, school enrolment, regularity of attendance, the type of school attended and learning achievement of children with disabilities, in contrast to children without any reported disabilities.
Our analysis shows that children with disabilities receive different levels of support at home in the form of help with homework and expenditure on education in terms of school fees and fees for private tuition. Factors such as gender and socio economic background have a strong effect on these decisions.
While we present differences in the household support received by children with and without disabilities, we focus in more detail on intrahousehold differences, especially in those with a child with disabilities. We find that while parents have high educational aspirations for all children, those with social or economic disadvantages struggle to support school participation of not only the children with disability, but other children as well. However with limited resources, their investment in the schooling of children with disabilities is significantly lower. Here too gender plays an important role. Our data also shows that children with disabilities are more likely to repeat classes and have low levels of learning as measured on numeracy and literacy tests in comparison to their peers without disabilities.
Paper 3: Examination of Inequitable Access to Teaching and Learning for Marginalized Groups: Evidence from Pakistan
Authors: Monazza Aslam (presenter);Shenila Rawal, Anna Vignoles, Rabea Malik, Faisal Bari &Pauline Rose
This paper uses a sample of students enrolled in government schools in randomly selected villages from Punjab, Pakistan, and aims to estimate a classic multivariate model to identify sources of inequitable outcomes. It is well known that there is significant variation in the achievement levels of children in Pakistan (ASER, various reports 2009-2015). This study uses data collected at both the household as well as the school level to examine inequality in both access as well as quality of schooling. Using rich household and school and teacher level information combined with measures of learning outcomes (arrived at through testing pupils in grades 3 and 5), the paper will discuss whether differences in achievement of marginalized children (such as based on gender, poverty, disability etc.) are due to these children being clustered in particular schools or due to differences in teaching within the schools they attend.
Using a multivariate model based on approximately 500 pupils, this paper will incorporate at least two levels of analysis (school level, community level and potentially student level). The evidence generated from this research helps explain some of the key factors that explain inequitable learning in Pakistan and aims to propose strategies to overcome these.