Preschool participation and students’ learning outcomes in primary school: Evidence from national reform of pre-primary education in Ethiopia

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Kim, JH 

This study examines whether a large expansion of pre-primary education in Ethiopia affected subsequent students’ learning outcomes during the national reform of pre-primary education. The study utilizes two comparable, representative early grade reading assessment data that straddle the reform period from 2010 to 2016, during which enrolment rates in pre-primary education soared by nearly ten times nationwide. We find that associations between preschool participation and literacy outcomes were positive and significant after the expansion, yet no such relationships were observed before the reform. However, there was little heterogeneity in the gains of the preschool participation by gender, urbanity, and parental literacy. We discuss implications for ongoing reform, including strategic and inclusive policy designed to close the learning gap between children from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds.

3901 Curriculum and Pedagogy, 3903 Education Systems, 3904 Specialist Studies In Education, 39 Education, 4 Quality Education
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International Journal of Educational Development
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Elsevier BV
I am most grateful for Professor Ricardo Sabates for the constant guidance and advice. I wish to thank the USAID Ethiopia for data access and support. I also thank participants for comments received during the World Bank World Development Report 2018 Workshop in Ethiopia, and those attending the annual conference of Comparative and International Education Society 2019 and the UK forum for International Education Training (UKFIET) 2019.