The presentation at CIES will also look beyond enrolment, to understand more about how children in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam progress through school, and in particular at instances of grade repetition. Analysis of Young Lives data suggests that, for the present generation of young people in Ethiopia and India in particular, uneven progression through school is now a bigger problem than dropout, with many children remaining in school but failing to progress. This is a big concern. Other studies which have looked at grade repetition have found that children who are ‘overage’ for the grade they’re in are more likely to drop out of school and are less likely to complete primary education (Sabates et al, 2010). There is also little evidence that repeating a year helps children to learn more or catch up with their peers (Glick & Sahn, 2010).
These findings indicate the importance of identifying possible policy solutions which can address issues of grade repetition and uneven progression, such as remedial education, helping children to catch up with their peers and complete school ‘on time’. It’s also important that we begin to think about progression through school in terms of meaningful learning as well as years of education completed – something which the other two papers on our CIES panel will discuss. Young Lives’ 2016-17 school effectiveness surveys (which are currently taking place) will help with this, providing the opportunity to understand more about how much children learn in one year of schooling in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam, and some of the school, teacher and child factors associated with this.
If you’re attending CIES 2017 and would like to hear more about this, we’d love to see you at our panel presentation which is taking place from 1:15-2:45pm on Thursday 9th March in Sheraton Atlanta 1, Capitol South (North Tower).