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What makes a good teacher? (Hint: commitment and training)

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A teacher trainee helps out in the class two classroom by passing out textbooks. As part of her training she will spend three weeks observing and working with each teacher in the school. Sandogo “B” primary school, District 7, Ouagadougou.Credit: GPE Kelley Lynch
We all instinctively recognize a good teacher when we meet one—someone who brings the subject matter to life, makes it relevant, supports critical engagement, and so much more. Many of us can name at least one teacher who made a big difference in our educational journey. Perhaps that is why writers and movie makers—from the musty days of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Blackboard Jungle, to Sidney Poitier Show MoreWe all instinctively recognize a good teacher when we meet one—someone who brings the subject matter to life, makes it relevant, supports critical engagement, and so much more. Many of us can name at least one teacher who made a big difference in our educational journey. Perhaps that is why writers and movie makers—from the musty days of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Blackboard Jungle, to Sidney Poitier in To Sir with Love to Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart, to Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society and Richard Dreyfuss in Mr. Holland’s Opus—have found success in relating stories of the profound effect that good teachers can have on learning and on the lives of their students. While the personal and vocational qualities that characterize all good teachers are important, other factors also inform the making and nurturing of good teachers, including quality training. In this three-part blog series drawing on the findings of IEG’s Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training we first discuss what underpins effective teacher training then, in subsequent blogs, we look at World Bank support for quality teaching. Of course, we recognize that context—governance, the policy environment, the quality of service delivery, resources, incentives—can also shape and influence how teachers are trained and the expectations under which they operate. Even allowing for this, the importance of training in producing quality teachers who contribute to quality learning outcomes cannot be underestimated. So, what do we know? First, we know that teacher effort and capacity are critical to student learning and educational outcomes. We also know, as highlighted in the World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize the Promise of Education, that quality learning is, or at least should be, central to any education system. Finally, we know that, in line with the World Bank’s Human Capital Project, education is critical for human development. Put simply, we know that the stakes are high. As such, and as illustrated below, support for professional development to improve teacher capacity—both pre-service and in-service—is a critical input in pursuit of education quality. Click to enlarge & download image Quality pre-service training relies, in the first instance, on screening and filtering mechanisms designed to ensure the selection of quality candidates. But the efficacy of these mechanisms is itself reliant on high demand premised on the attractiveness of teaching compared to other professions. The attractiveness of teaching rests on factors such as initial pay, career opportunities, incentive and support structures, classroom and school working conditions, as well as cultural aspects related to how society views teachers. To ensure the selection of quality of candidates, screening requires transparent and meaningful requirements to enter and exit pre-service institutions, such as examinations, grades, or graduation requirements. Coursework in both content and pedagogical knowledge that is grounded in the curricula of the schools where trainee teachers will eventually teach is clearly essential. This requires the availability of qualified teacher educators who can impart relevant skills. But it also needs to be supported by the necessary learning materials as well as the requisite duration and intensity of teacher training courses –determined with reference to context—to ensure the development  of effective teachers. Teaching involves the mastery and exercise of various skills, which makes practicum—the supervised practical application of a previously or concurrently studied field or theory—a critical component of well-rounded professional development. Effective practicums help teachers gradually assume more tasks and more responsibilities supported by monitoring and mentoring based on productive partnerships between training institutions and schools. This, in turn, should help create a trainee-centered experience that allows for formative assessment based on constructive feedback, accompanied by reflection and dialogue. Effective quality assurance mechanisms can underpin the entire education system through, for example, provision of accreditation for training institutions and support for certification and alternative preparation for teaching. More specifically, quality assurance can underpin quality, objectivity, and transparency for both pre- and in-service training systems. It can help ensure adherence to training standards, removal of political influence, and the exercise of effective control over the number of candidates entering the system. Quality assurance can also ensure regulation of screening mechanisms regarding, for example, the implementation and integrity of assessment and examinations, providing clear signals that such screening mechanisms are free from manipulation. Finally, quality in-service training can be vital in supplementing and improving teachers’ instructional practices and knowledge conducive to student learning. Quality in-service training observes adult learning principles, is implemented over an adequate duration, and offers sustained follow-up support through coaching or feedback that promotes reflection. It may be easier to ensure the presence of these characteristics in smaller pilot efforts, but it is imperative, if enhanced learning outcomes are the focus, that quality is maintained and sustained when in-service training is scaled up. In the second and third blog in this series we elaborate on what the World Bank has done to support pre- and in-service teacher training, where it has placed an emphasis, what it has done well, and where it might need to improve to scale-up training programs. Read IEG's report: Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training Pictured above: A teacher trainee helps out in the class two classroom by passing out textbooks. As part of her training she will spend three weeks observing and working with each teacher in the school. Sandogo “B” primary school, District 7, Ouagadougou. Credit: GPE Kelley Lynch

Rwanda CLR Review FY14-20

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In summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress Show MoreIn summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress. Second, more qualified people working on financial management, procurement and safeguards is needed to enhance the impact of projects and program. Third, plans for agricultural modernization require considering interactions between the rural and urban labor markets to ensure migrating rural workers have gainful urban employment. Fourth, generating knowledge through ASA can help identify binding constraints and design policy reforms in a timely manner. IEG adds the following lesson: Poor results framework make it difficult to learn from a program’s experience, attribute results to the program and assess its achievements, and build knowledge that can guide future program design and implementation. To assess programs, build knowledge and guide future actions, the WBG needs to ensure CPF Results Frameworks have: (a) a clear and coherent results chain and (b) indicators that can be measured, are useful for assessing the achievement of objectives and are linked to the program’s interventions.. In Rwanda, the CPS results framework has shortcomings that makes it difficult to measure the achievement of some objectives, build knowledge and guide future WBG programs.

Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

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The World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the Show MoreThe World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the withdrawal of most donors during the protracted political crisis were especially concerning. The Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project was prepared in 2012 after the World Bank’s reengagement in Madagascar and before reentry of other partners. The project’s objective was “to preserve critical education, health, and nutrition service delivery in targeted vulnerable areas.” The project initially focused on five of Madagascar’s poorest and most vulnerable regions, where other donors were not active, and eventually extended nutrition services only to four additional regions (of 22 regions in the country). Ratings for the Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing are as follows: Outcome was highly satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. This assessment offers the following lessons, which focus on the challenges of further strengthening and sustaining a multisectoral approach to nutrition raised in this report: (i) A multisectoral approach, which delivers a range of services that benefit communities, can have a synergistic and impactful effect on the health and nutrition of mothers and children. (ii) The effectiveness and efficiency of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts are contingent on the ONN fully assuming its primary mandate of multisectoral coordination, with the full support and recognition of the public sector, at all levels of government, and in partnership with leaders and stakeholders in the political, administrative, religious, and traditional arenas and in the private sector. (iii) The roles and comparative advantages of the regions and districts in the strategic management and implementation of service delivery, including the support and encouragement of cross-sectoral synergies, will continue to be underexploited as long as the government’s structure is highly centralized. (iv) Successful mobilization of domestic and international resources, planning, programming, and priority setting—including managing the tensions between the goals of expanding nutrition coverage and strengthening existing services—will be difficult to achieve without investments in ONN capacity. Over and above the capacity strengthening needed, improved aid effectiveness and the sustainability of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts also depend on development partners working closely with ONN and the regions and supporting their development plans and priorities, and on an evolution from projects to program support. (v) The World Bank can play a pivotal role in supporting ONN to assume its multisectoral coordination role by advocating to the highest levels of government the importance of prioritizing nutrition as a means of achieving its development objectives and of allocating more budgetary resources to this end, and in supporting the decentralization process to empower regions. (vi) Emergency operations can provide an opportunity for embarking on broader development efforts, as shown by this project, whose interventions transcended recovery efforts. However, the inclusion of such development support without attention to sustainability can undermine gains postproject.

Madagascar: Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition et à son financement additionnel (PPAR)

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En 2009, la Banque mondiale a suspendu ses opérations à Madagascar suite à un coup d’état et l’installation d’un gouvernement de facto. Le changement de régime inconstitutionnel provoqua une période de crise politique prolongée qui, ajoutée à la crise financière de 2008, a menacé de renverser une décennie de progrès soutenus des indicateurs sociaux et économiques. Particulièrement inquiétant Show MoreEn 2009, la Banque mondiale a suspendu ses opérations à Madagascar suite à un coup d’état et l’installation d’un gouvernement de facto. Le changement de régime inconstitutionnel provoqua une période de crise politique prolongée qui, ajoutée à la crise financière de 2008, a menacé de renverser une décennie de progrès soutenus des indicateurs sociaux et économiques. Particulièrement inquiétant était le problème du manque de financement public destiné aux services sociaux de base et du retrait des partenaires financiers durant cette crise politique prolongée. Le Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition fut préparé en 2012, juste après le réengagement de la Banque mondiale et juste avant le retour des autres partenaires. L’objectif du projet était « … de préserver la fourniture des services essentiels d’éducation, de santé et de nutrition dans les zones vulnérables ciblées. » À l’origine, le projet s’est concentré sur cinq des plus pauvres et plus vulnérables régions de Madagascar, là où les autres partenaires financiers n’étaient pas actifs, pour finalement étendre seulement ses services de nutrition à quatre régions supplémentaires (sur un total de 22 régions du pays). Les évaluations du Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition et de financement supplémentaire sont les suivantes: les résultats ont été très satisfaisants, la performance de la Banque a été modérément satisfaisante et la qualité du suivi et de l'évaluation était modeste. De cette évaluation se dégagent les leçons suivantes qui visent à mettre l’accent sur les défis posés pour renforcer davantage et assurer la durabilité d'une approche multisectorielle à la nutrition soulevés dans ce rapport : (i) Une approche multisectorielle fournissant une gamme de services qui bénéficient aux communautés peut avoir un effet synergique et des répercussions importantes sur la santé et la nutrition des mères et des enfants. (ii) L’efficacité et l’efficience des efforts de Madagascar en matière de nutrition dépendent des efforts de l'Office National de Nutrition (ONN) à assumer pleinement son mandat principal de coordination multisectorielle, avec le plein soutien et la reconnaissance du secteur public, à tous les niveaux du gouvernement, et en partenariat avec les dirigeants et les parties prenantes dans les domaines politique, administratif, religieux et traditionnel et dans le secteur privé. (iii) Les rôles et avantages comparatifs des régions et des districts dans la gestion stratégique et la mise en œuvre des fournitures de services, notamment l'encouragement et le soutien aux synergies intersectorielles, continueront d'être sous-exploités tant que la structure du gouvernement restera fortement centralisée. (iv) Une mobilisation réussie des ressources nationales et internationales, la planification, programmation et définition des priorités, notamment en ce qui concerne la gestion des tensions entre les objectifs d'élargissement de la couverture nutritionnelle et ceux de renforcement des services existants, seront difficiles à réaliser en l'absence d’investissements pour développer les capacités de l’ONN. Au-delà de la nécessité de renforcer les capacités, améliorer l’efficacité de l'aide et la durabilité des efforts de Madagascar en matière de nutrition va également dépendre de l’engagement des partenaires au développement à travailler en étroite collaboration avec l'ONN et les régions, de leur appui aux plans et priorités de développement de ceux-ci et de l'évolution du soutien des projets vers une approche programme. (v) La Banque mondiale peut jouer un rôle central, notamment en aidant l'ONN à assumer son rôle de coordination multisectorielle ; en faisant valoir auprès des plus hautes instances du gouvernement l'importance de donner priorité à la nutrition comme moyen d'atteindre les objectifs de développement et d'allouer davantage de ressources budgétaires à cette fin ; et en apportant un appui au processus national de décentralisation pour donner aux régions les moyens de se prendre en charge et d’agir. (vi) Les opérations d’urgence peuvent être l’occasion d’explorer et de lancer des efforts de développement plus larges, comme le montre ce projet dont les interventions ont transcendé les efforts de redressement entrepris. Cependant, l'inclusion d'un tel appui au développement sans une attention accordée à sa durabilité peut, après le projet, compromettre les gains réalisés. English version: Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

Bangladesh Country Program Evaluation (Approach Paper)

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The Country Program Evaluation (CPE) for Bangladesh aims to assess the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s engagement with Bangladesh during the last 10 years (fiscal year [FY]11–20). The CPE will review the extent to which the Bank Group contributed to Bangladesh’s development outcomes. In so doing, it will assess the extent to which Bank Group support was aligned with the Bank Show MoreThe Country Program Evaluation (CPE) for Bangladesh aims to assess the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s engagement with Bangladesh during the last 10 years (fiscal year [FY]11–20). The CPE will review the extent to which the Bank Group contributed to Bangladesh’s development outcomes. In so doing, it will assess the extent to which Bank Group support was aligned with the Bank Group’s corporate twin goals—ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity—and with International Development Association (IDA) priorities. It also will assess how that support adapted over the evaluation period to changing circumstances and priorities. It will cover two country engagement cycles as defined in the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for FY11–15 and the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for FY16–21.

Sierra Leone CLR Review FY10-19

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This is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Sierra Leone covering the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS, FY10-FY13). For completeness and learning purposes, and while the CAS formally expired in FY13, IEG has elected to examine the period FY14-FY19 as well as no CPF was in place to replace the CAS. Owing to data limitations and in Show MoreThis is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Sierra Leone covering the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS, FY10-FY13). For completeness and learning purposes, and while the CAS formally expired in FY13, IEG has elected to examine the period FY14-FY19 as well as no CPF was in place to replace the CAS. Owing to data limitations and in line with relevant provisions of the Working Arrangements between the Independent Evaluation Group and WBG, IEG’s review does not rate the CAS’s overall development outcome or the World Bank Group’s performance.

Myanmar CLR Review FY15-19

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This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), FY15-FY17, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated June 2, 2017, which extended the CPF period by two years to FY19. This CPF followed the end-2012 Interim Strategy Note (ISN) that resumed WBG operations after a hiatus of about 25 Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), FY15-FY17, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated June 2, 2017, which extended the CPF period by two years to FY19. This CPF followed the end-2012 Interim Strategy Note (ISN) that resumed WBG operations after a hiatus of about 25 years. To support the Government’s development efforts, the WBG implemented a major expansion of its activities (a seven-fold increase in the Bank’s portfolio), possibly beyond what the country could absorb. Nevertheless, this support contributed to good progress on farming productivity; on access to electricity, telecommunications, health, education, and finance; and on the business climate. IEG agrees with the lessons drawn by the CLR. These are reformulated and summarized as follows: (i) In an environment of constrained implementation capacity, projects with diverse objectives and multiple implementing agencies may become unwieldy and lead to delays in project implementation. (ii) A results framework that excludes the program’s cross-cutting issues will impede assessment of success in addressing these issues. (iii) Use of country systems, support of key reform champions, and joint analytical work are among the factors that build trust with counterparts and stakeholders. (iv) Access to and coordination of trust fund resources will encourage effective implementation and collaboration across development partners. (v) Good and timely data is critical for evidence-based policy dialogue and timely response to country developments. (vi) A “one WBG” approach is critical to leverage WBG instruments toward specific objectives such as access to electricity. Seventh, more careful attention to indicators, including their sources, baselines, targets and time frames will facilitate program monitoring. (vii) A “disconnect’ between written implementation rules and actual practices in Myanmar, e.g., on procurement, may cause implementation delays. IEG adds the following lesson: Joint Implementation Plans (JIPs5) can improve the effectiveness of the “one WBG” approach noted by the CLR lessons. WBG CPFs normally intend collaboration across the Bank, IFC, and MIGA, but more often than not, CPFs do not spell out how such collaboration is to happen. Myanmar’s CPF JIP to improve access to electricity helped ensure that joint work would materialize. IEG rates the CPF development outcome as Moderately Satisfactory and WBG performance as Good.

Evaluation of the World Bank’s Support to Improving Child Undernutrition and Its Determinants (Approach Paper)

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Global reports on indicators of child undernutrition show mixed progress in reducing the stunting (impaired growth and development) of children under five, with Africa and South Asia most severely affected. There are many determinants of child undernutrition, which makes the challenge of improving outcomes multidimensional, requiring interventions in areas of health; agriculture; water, Show MoreGlobal reports on indicators of child undernutrition show mixed progress in reducing the stunting (impaired growth and development) of children under five, with Africa and South Asia most severely affected. There are many determinants of child undernutrition, which makes the challenge of improving outcomes multidimensional, requiring interventions in areas of health; agriculture; water, sanitation, and hygiene; social protection; education; and governance, depending on the country context. The objectives of this evaluation are to assess the contribution of the World Bank to improving outcomes related to child undernutrition and its determinants in countries affected by undernutrition, and to provide lessons and recommendations to inform the design of the World Bank’s future multidimensional nutrition support.

Ensuring Equality and Inclusion in Education: What Works to Meet SDG 4.5?

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Ensuring Equality and Inclusion in Education: What Works to Meet SDG 4.5?
A summary of findings from multiple evaluations of education interventions that promote gender equality and equity for vulnerable groups. A summary of findings from multiple evaluations of education interventions that promote gender equality and equity for vulnerable groups.

Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training

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Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training
This evaluation examines how the World Bank has supported two types of professional development to improve teacher capacity—preservice and in-service training—and identifies how these drivers of education quality can be better designed, implemented, and scaled upThis evaluation examines how the World Bank has supported two types of professional development to improve teacher capacity—preservice and in-service training—and identifies how these drivers of education quality can be better designed, implemented, and scaled up