Rewrite the Future Global Evaluation – 2008-2010

Om publikasjonen

  • Utgitt: 2011
  • Serie: --
  • Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
  • Utført av: Dr. Ruth Naylor and local consultants in the four case countries
  • Bestilt av: Save the Children Norway
  • Land: Nepal, Afghanistan, Angola, Sudan
  • Tema: Utdanning og forskning
  • Antall sider: --
  • Serienummer: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organisasjon: Save the Children Norway
NB! Publikasjonen er KUN tilgjengelig elektronisk og kan ikke bestilles på papir

Background
In 2005 Save the Children launched Rewrite the Future, a major global campaign to realize the right of children in conflict affected countries to receive quality education. Since 2006, Save the Children has implemented projects to improve the quality of education for over 10 million children in 20 conflict affected countries.

Purpose/objective
Save the Children commissioned a global evaluation of Rewrite the Future to evaluate the impact that project level interventions have had on the quality of education. This evaluation examines four key determinants to the quality of education: teaching and learning; participation by children, parents, teachers and communities; safe learning environments and inclusion of vulnerable groups.
Save the Children selected four case study countries. A focus was selected for each country:
Afghanistan: Interventions supporting student and parent participation in schools, including: formation and training of student councils, Parent Teacher Student Associations, and Community Education Councils.
Angola: Interventions supporting teachers’ professional development, including: support and training of supervisors, teacher peer support groups.
Nepal:  Schools as Zones of Peace, focusing on the school-level processes of unifying communities and political groups to promote the idea that schools should be places free from fear, violence and political interference.
Southern Sudan: Interventions supporting teacher training, including: in-service content and methodology training, intensive English courses, Accelerated Learning Programme mentor courses, and courses to support women to become teachers.

Methodology
The evaluation was carried out in two phases, a 2008 phase (prioritizing a formative evaluation of the process) and a 2010 phase (prioritizing a summative evaluation of the outcomes). Where possible, the same set of schools was visited in 2008 and 2010 to investigate change. Comparison schools were included so that the impact of Save the Children interventions could be distinguished from contextual changes.
Each country case study was designed through a participatory process during in-country workshops. The tools and sampling were developed according to each particular country programme and context, and local relevance was prioritised over international comparability
Sample overview
65 supported school; 30 Accelerated Learning Programme classes; 30 comparison schools.
126 child focus groups; 71 parent focus groups; 200+ interviews with teachers and other education professionals; 350 lesson observations; 1121 learning assessments for grade 3 students

Key findings
Improving Teaching:
In 2008, teachers trained by Save the Children in Afghanistan, Nepal and southern Sudan scored significantly higher on the lesson observation tool than other teachers. In all three countries, a greater proportion of teachers trained by Save the Children addressed individual students by name and praised students when compared to other teachers.
In southern Sudan, Save the Children scaled down its teacher training activities in 2008 in response to government plans to establish a formal system. However, the government’s implementation of these plans was delayed, leaving a gap in teacher training provision. Lack of funding limited Save the Children’s ability to fill this gap. In 2010 the impact of Save the Children’s training on teaching was no longer evident.
In Angola, Save the Children initially provided only logistical support to teacher training and supervision, without any technical input. The 2008 evaluation found no clear difference between the lesson observation scores of trained and untrained teachers. In response to these findings, Save the Children provided technical support to the training of trainers and school supervisors. Supervisors facilitated regular meetings between teachers where they were encouraged to reflect on teaching and plan their lessons together. In 2010, there was a marked improvement in the teaching observed in supported classes.
Increasing Learning Time: Student attendance, measured by headcounts, was consistently higher in project schools than in comparison schools and showed considerable increase in Afghanistan and southern Sudan between 2008 and 2010. Child and parent groups trained by Save the Children described how they had followed up individual cases of absentee children and persuaded parents to send their children to school. Respondents in Nepal attributed improved attendance of teachers and students to the participatory development of school codes of conduct.
Improving Learning Outcomes: In 2008, learning outcomes in project schools in Nepal and Afghanistan were significantly better than those of comparison schools when controlling for other factors including gender, caste, mother tongue, school size and teacher education levels. However, in all country studies it was noted that a significant portion (between a fifth and a half) of grade 3 students in supported schools were unable to read a single word from a simple text.
In 2010 it was found that there had been a significant improvement in learning outcomes in project schools in Angola compared to the change in comparison schools.
In Nepal there appears to have been some impact of Save the Children’s interventions at the lower end of the spectrum of reading ability, with a greater increase in the number of children able to read some words in project schools compared to comparison schools.
Language Issues: In Afghanistan and Nepal, the language of instruction was not the mother tongue for around half of children tested. These children scored significantly worse in reading than other children. Analysis controlling for socio-economic indicators indicates that language is a significant barrier to learning for these children.
In southern Sudan and Nepal, the education policy allows primary schools to use a local language for the early years. But this policy is hindered by a lack of learning materials written in mother tongue and in practice literacy is not taught in mother tongue.
Protecting Schools:In Nepal, Save the Children facilitated school communities to negotiate with local representatives of armed political groups to protect their schools from disruption and attack. Parties agreed on a set of criteria protecting schools from violence and political interference and declared their schools as Zones of Peace.
Students, parents and teachers reported that the process had helped to prevent terrorisation of schools by armed groups, reduced the sense of fear surrounding schools, enabled lessons to continue without interruption and reduced of all forms of violence within schools. In 2009, on average, project schools were open for 14 more days than comparison schools.
Reducing Violence within Schools:The evidence from both rounds of the evaluation indicates that training on child rights alone was not always sufficient to change the practice of using corporal punishment in schools. The most effective intervention for removing corporal punishment from school found in this evaluation was the participatory development of school codes of conduct which included anti-violence clauses and were agreed on by the whole school community (school management, parents, teachers and students).
Facilitating Participation: The Schools as Zones of Peace process in Nepal built on community support structures that Save the Children had supported, including child clubs, PTAs and child protection committees. These groups helped to draw up and monitor school codes of conduct. These included clauses outlining the responsibilities of teachers, students and parents to enable quality education to take place. The process also helped to build children’s  confidence and raise the level of parent participation in school life. This made teachers more accountable to children and parents, and led to more lessons being taught.
Save the Children has supported schools in Afghanistan to establish student councils and has trained members to advocate for  child rights in education. Schools have been encouraged to include student council representatives in their PTAs. Student councils and PTAs were able to collaborate closely to achieve a number of goals including increasing student attendance, recruiting extra teachers, and acquiring educational resources such as library books and laboratory equipment.
Reaching the Hardest to Reach: Save the Children supported education in contexts of poor security by working through local partner organizations. Transparency, neutrality, community participation and a clear focus on child rights were important aspects of partners’ modes of work that enabled them to negotiate with insurgent groups.
In Afghanistan and southern Sudan Save the Children has helped to increase girls’ enrolment in schools by training student and parent groups to understand and advocate for girls’ right to education within the local context. In both cases girls’ enrolment in project schools has increased well above the national rate.
Community based classes, including Accelerated Learning Programmes (ALPs) were found to be an effective way of providing quality education for a range of vulnerable groups: uneducated youth, children in remote communities, and children from ethnic minorities in contexts where the barriers to their education in mainstream schools were too great to be overcome in the short term. ALPs classes visited in Angola and Afghanistan had better indicators of gender equality than formal schools. Girls in these classes were less disadvantaged compared to boys in terms of enrolment and learning outcomes.
In Afghanistan, ALPs were reliant on continued support from Save the Children in the form of incentives for teachers, and lacked sustainability.

Conclusions
The most successful interventions covered by this evaluation were those that empowered the school community to take ownership and control of the school improvement process, motivated by a clear understanding of child rights. Bringing about this empowerment takes more than just training teachers, parents and children in child rights. Groups need to be supported and given practical ways and means of improving their schools. Raising the level of participation of children, teachers and the community in school improvement is key to improving the other dimensions of quality including teaching, learning, safety and inclusion.

Recommendations
Improving teaching and learning
• Support to teacher training programmes in post conflict situations need to be flexible and responsive to changes in government capacity to ensure that school level support is not withdrawn before governments are capable of maintaining the quality of education.  Donor support and disbursement systems need to be improved so that the funds needed to reconstruct education and teacher training systems are available early on in the post-conflict recovery process. Pressure needs to be put on governments to ensure that teacher training and accreditation systems are put in place as soon as possible.
• In countries recovering from extended periods of conflict, international organisations should provide technical as well as logistical support to teacher training to ensure that trainers and supervisors are confident in participatory teaching methods.
• The teacher peer reflection and planning model of teacher professional development used in Angola should be extended to other country programmes.
• Save the Children should seek to increase student learning time by building the capacity of  local education authorities, head teachers, students and parents to monitor it.
• Save the Children should focus more interventions on improving the quality of teaching and learning of reading and writing in the early grades and monitor learning outcomes.
• Where there is a supportive policy context, Save the Children should consider developing programmes to support multilingual education.
Providing a Safe Learning Environment
• The Schools as Zones of Peace process should be promoted elsewhere.
• Interventions aimed at reducing violence in schools should encompass violence perpetrated by students as well as adults.
Facilitating Participation
• Student, parent and community participation should remain a central element of strategies aimed at increasing the quality of education in fragile states.
• Save the Children should support schools to develop codes of conduct with participation from children, parents, teachers and the wider community at the school level.
Reaching the Hardest to Reach
• In fragile states, international organisations should work in partnership with local organisations and build up their capacity.
• Save the Children should continue to promote girls’ right to education through equipping student and community groups to understand and advocate for girls’ education within the local context.
• Save the Children needs to improve the monitoring of the ALPs that it supports, and to collect evidence on the progression of ALP students through a complete cycle of basic education.
• New projects aimed at improving the quality of general education (excluding projects targeting urban vulnerable groups) should seek to work in rural communities from the outset, so that the most needy communities benefit, and so that the challenges of rural education are taken account of in the project design and development.

Comments from the organisation, if any

Publisert 14.07.2011
Sist oppdatert 16.02.2015