Early Childhood Services for Young Refugee Children: Jordan Case Study

This qualitative case study describes the experiences of young refugee children and their families accessing early childhood development (ECD) services in Jordan in late 2019. The study team collected data through key informant interviews with representatives of the Jordanian government, national non-governmental organizations, humanitarian agencies and service providers. Focus group discussions were held with refugee families living in the host community in Amman, as well as families in Za'atari and Azraq refugee camps. The study team supplemented key informant interviews and focus group with policy document review. Analysis is presented along the lines of policy and practice, with a focus on the respective roles of the government and international agencies in delivering ECD services to refugee families.

Longitudinal impacts of the medium-scale Tayari pre-primary intervention in Kenya: Resisting fadeout effects? [CIES 2019 Presentation]

This presentation shares findings from a longitudinal study of the Kenya Tayari program, examining whether ECD effects persisted into primary school, presented by Dr. Benjamin Piper at CIES 2019.

ACR-Asia Early Childhood Landscape Report [CIES 2019 Presentation]

CIES presentation of Early Childhood Education landscape report for the Asia region under All Children Reading - Asia.

Jordan Kindergarten Data for Decision Making

This report presents findings of a national survey of parents regarding enrollment in preprimary education (kindergarten) in Jordan. The findings are surprising because they suggest that the real enrollment rate is significantly higher than what government statistics indicate. The discrepancy seems to be due to a high level of kindergarten provision from private sector and civil society actors who are not licensed by the Ministry of Education.

Stumbling at the First Step: Efficiency implications of poor performance in the foundational first five years

This paper highlights patterns in school enrollment indicators that affect the efficiency and effectiveness of education systems in a set of low-income countries: those that have expanded access quickly in the last decade or two, but have not yet absorbed that expansion efficiently. Although the patterns in these indicators are observable in the first few years of schooling, they could constitute a cause of low learning outcomes at the end of primary school. The data show strong empirical relationships between an early primary enrollment bulge, low levels of pre-primary participation, and poor performance on early grade cognitive skills. This work does not attribute causal precedence to these patterns but instead argues that the indicators are reflections of each other, constituting a ‘‘knot’’ of issues undermining the foundations of the affected education systems. The article presents some of the cost implications and suggests that many countries are already paying for pre-primary education without realizing it.

Kindergarten in Jordan: data for decision-making- CIES 2018 Presentation

CIES 2018 Presentation, given by Katherine Merseth and Manar Shukri. The Minister of Education has requested that USAID Early Grades Reading and mathematics Project (RAMP) assist the Ministry of Education (MoE) to assess the overall KG situation in Jordan and to develop recommendations for how the Government of Jordan can expand quality kindergarten (specifically, the second year of kindergarten, or KG2) to serve all 5year old children by 2025. In response to the need, RAMP is conducting a study of KG2 with the objective of enabling the MoE to equitably expand and improve KG2.

Uganda Early Years Study Policy Brief: Causes and Implications of Hidden Repetition in Early Primary

The Uganda Early Years Study policy brief describes the findings and presents policy recommendations from the associated research study funded by the British Department for International Development. The study investigates the magnitude of repetition in primary 1 in Uganda, examines the financial impact of repetition, and presents a cost-projection model which underscores the importance of investing in pre-primary and early primary education in reducing inefficiency.

Uganda Early Years Study: Final Report

The British Department for International Development (DFID) has partnered with the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) to conduct empirical research on inefficiencies in the Ugandan education system. This research will help the Ministry better understand the severity, causes, and consequences of an enrolment bulge in early primary classes in Uganda. Specifically, this study is investigating the magnitude of repetition in primary 1. It encompasses a nationally representative sample of pupils, and uses information from interviews with pupils, parents/guardians, and teachers.

Repetition of Primary 1 and Pre-primary Education in Uganda

This paper describes a 2016 pilot study undertaken in Uganda to document the real repetition rate in Primary 1 classes and to examine the relationship between repetition in Primary 1 and attendance in pre-primary education. The study explored knowledge and practice about the age of entry for children into pre-primary education and Primary 1. It also documented parents’ knowledge and expectations about participation in pre-primary education. The study was conducted in two purposefully selected districts in Uganda (a “high-risk” district—with higher rates of poverty and reported repetition—and a “low-risk” district—with lower rates of poverty and reported repetition) by RTI International, with support from the Development Research and Social Policy Analysis Center, a Ugandan data collection firm. In addition to answering research questions about early primary repetition and pre-primary attendance, the pilot aimed to test a methodology of triangulating information from the Education Management Information System, school records, and parents’ reports. The study confirmed that it is possible to compare data from teacher and classroom records with data from parent and teacher interviews; parents or caregivers were invited to come to school for an interview, and a large percentage did. The study also showed that according to teachers and parents, repetition rates in Primary 1 are much higher than perceived by the system. Repetition rates in Primary 1, as perceived by parents and teachers, are quite high—roughly 30% to 40%, depending on source and location. In addition, parents reported that early entry into Primary 1 (and the possible resulting repetition) is being used as a substitute for pre-primary education due to the lack of preprimary schooling options. Some parents send their children to school at an early age because they cannot afford pre-primary schooling, even though they realize the child might have to repeat the year or will learn less the first time through Primary 1. For children who attended pre-primary, the data demonstrate a strong “protective” effect on their chances of repeating Primary 1 (i.e., the children who attended pre-primary were less likely to repeat in Primary 1). Gender was not found to affect these issues to any significant degree.

Platforms to Reach Children in Early Childhood

Presentation at CIES March 2017 (Atlanta).