Are Schools in India Ready to Support Students During COVID-19?

Education
Policy paper

In March 2020, schooling for students enrolled in both public and private schools was brought to a grinding halt by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address the impact of the pandemic on the lives of these students, and to understand whether schools are prepared with adequate support systems to address their students' needs, Young Lives interviewed 183 principals (head teachers) from 116 government and 67 private schools in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India.

This policy brief analyses the survey findings and provides specific policy recommendations. It is part of a series of outputs based on the Young Lives COVID-19 survey of head teachers conducted in India and Ethiopia as part of the Gendered Young Lives: Opportunities, Learning and Positive Development research programme.

Are Schools in India Ready to Support Students During COVID-19?

Renu Singh
Education
Policy paper
Policy Brief 35

India has one of the largest education systems in the world, with approximately 250 million students enrolled
in 1.49 million schools (UDISE, 2017–18). Schools in India can be broadly divided into: (i) government schools
managed and funded by the state; (ii) government-aided schools, which are privately managed but receive
government funds to pay teachers’ salaries, and generally charge much lower fees than private unaided schools; and (iii) private unaided schools, which are privately managed, do not receive any government aid, and survive by charging student fees.1 For the purpose of the survey outlined in this brief, aided and private-unaided schools were both considered private schools, as the school management rests with private actors and not the government.

Webinar and Dissemination - Evidence from Young Lives: School Support for Students During the Pandemic

Webinar

As of 13 October 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases in India had reached just over 7.1 million, with over 1,00,000 deaths recorded as a result of the disease. India went into a nationwide lockdown in response to the pandemic in late March 2020. This included shutting down educational settings, and as a result nearly 320 million pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary-level learners have been staying at home. 

In response to the pandemic, Young Lives conducted the COVID-19 school survey in India , while schools were closed.

We take this opportunity to invite you to the webinar and dissemination of "Evidence from Young Lives: School Support for Students During the Pandemic".

Register yourself for the webinar here

Please click below to download the speakers' information and the agenda for the webinar. 

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Interrupted Education in India (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana): Support for Students During the COVID-19 School Shutdowns

This report presents findings from the Young Lives COVID-19 survey of head teachers in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India.

It provides a snapshot of the support that secondary schools in the Young Lives site were providing for students and their families during COVID-19 school closures between March and July 2020, and the challenges they faced in doing this. The survey investigated teaching and learning during school closures, with a focus on accessible and meaningful learning for students and the impacts of the school closures on young people.

This report is part of a series of outputs based on the Young Lives COVID-19 survey of head teachers conducted in India and Ethiopia as part of the Gendered Young Lives: Opportunities, Learning and Positive Development research programme.

Interrupted Education in India (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana): Support for Students During the COVID-19 School Shutdowns

Education
Country report

This report presents findings from the Young Lives COVID-19 survey of head teachers in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India.

It provides a snapshot of the support that secondary schools in the Young Lives site were providing for students and their families during COVID-19 school closures between March and July 2020, and the challenges they faced in doing this. The survey investigated teaching and learning during school closures, with a focus on accessible and meaningful learning for students and the impacts of the school closures on young people.

This report is part of a series of outputs based on the Young Lives COVID-19 survey of head teachers conducted in India and Ethiopia as part of the Gendered Young Lives: Opportunities, Learning and Positive Development research programme.

Early childhood education in India: A possible investment in better outcomes? A quantitative analysis using Young Lives India.

Education
Student paper

This paper uses data from the Young Lives study. The author's summary reads as follows:

This paper explores the relationship between early childhood education and academic outcomes for children in India by estimating the ability of preschool participation at age 5 to predict results on major cognitive assessments at age 12.  Initially looking at differences in means, it moves on to utilise regression analysis first in an uncontrolled model, and then in a model which controls for both gender and maternal eduation, as these have been deemed important inputs for academic attainment in the wider literature on human capital development.  The sample used for this research is constructed from Young Lives (India), which from 2002 and 2017 surveyed two cohorts of children across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with a pro-poor sampling strategy.  Surprisingly, the results of the analysis find that participation in early childhood education had a negligible effect on test scores, even when controlling for gender and maternal education.  Meanwhile, maternal education emerged as a strong predictor of test results.  These findings contradict much of the existing evidence that demonstrates associations between early childhood education and cognitive development, and, in turn, improved economic outcomes.  Accordingly, it raises questions about the generalisability of the existing evidence and the quality of India's ECE offering.  

Parental Aspirations and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India

Education

This paper used data from the Young Lives study.  The author's abstract reads: 

This study examines the effect of parents’ aspirations on children’s educational outcomes using data from the Young Lives study in Andhra Pradesh in India. It contributes to the sparse literature on this topic by first testing the overall impact of aspirations, and second, by uncovering any non-linearities of this effect. Through the channel of children's aspirationsfor-self, parental aspirations affect future-oriented behaviour and outcomes. This study estimates these impacts by exploring the effect of deviations from the average aspirations within the parents' "aspiration window" (Ray 2006) on the outcome variables at three time periods. The results provide support for the idea of an aspirations gap where both the extent and the direction of the deviation are likely to have differing effects on outcomes. Findings imply that higher aspirations are beneficial for both outcomes, although outcomes are potentially impacted in a non-linear fashion.

‘Functional English’ Skills in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam: Comparing English Ability and Use Among 15 Year Olds in Three Countries

Bridget Azubuike
Education
Working paper
YL-WP182.pdf842.01 KB

Increased globalisation, interconnectivity and overall exposure have promoted a considerable increase in developing countries in usage and aspiration to learn the English language. Among policymakers and individuals, English is considered important for economic advancement, employment and social mobility. In line with this, Young Lives included a ‘functional English’ assessment as part of its 2016-17 school survey with 15 year olds in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam, providing a unique opportunity to explore English language learning outcomes and some of the factors which affect these. 

This working paper explores how functional English can be conceptualised, recognising the multiple ways in which young people in these diverse contexts may want to use English now and in the future.  It also draws on analysis of data from the Young Lives school survey to consider the level of functional English competency which children in the three countries currently have, and how this relates to the types of English required by labour markets or higher levels of education. The paper examines the disparities in English levels within the three countries, including some of the background characteristics associated with higher levels of English, and discusses the implications of such gaps on the equality of education and employment opportunities in the future.

Using Scale-Anchoring to Interpret the Young Lives 2016-17 Achievement Scale

Zoe James
Education
Technical notes
YL-TN50.pdf882.37 KB

An important dimension of the Young Lives school surveys in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam has been the inclusion of assessments in selected cognitive domains. In the 2016-17 secondary school survey, assessments of mathematics and English were administered at the beginning and end of the school year in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam. 

This technical note presents the results of two exploratory ‘scale-anchoring’ exercises, which link items to achievement levels to produce performance-level descriptors of what students have demonstrated they know and can do. The note uses mathematics assessment data from the 2016-17 school survey in India before extending the analysis to include Ethiopia, India and Vietnam in a cross-country scale.