A wide angle view of learning Evaluation of the CCE and LEP programmes in Haryana, India

A wide angle view of learning Evaluation of the CCE and LEP programmes in Haryana, India

Current enrollment rates at the primary school level in India are well over 95 per cent, and dropout rates do not appear to increase dramatically with age - children between the ages of 11 and 14 are only three percentage points more likely to be out of school than children between the ages of 7 and 10. However, despite India’s success in increasing student enrollment and retention rates, learning outcomes have not kept pace.

Thie paper reports the results of a randomised evaluation of two programs designed to improve student achievement in primary and upper primary schools in Haryana, India. In one program, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), high-stakes exams are replaced with more frequent evaluation of students by teachers. In the other program,
the Learning Enhancement Program (LEP), students are given a brief assessment of basic Hindi skills at the start of the academic year, and a portion of the school day is set aside to group and teach students according to ability level, regardless of age or grade.

Four hundred primary schools were randomly assigned to one of four groups that received (1) CCE alone, (2) LEP alone, (3) CCE and LEP together, or (4) no treatment. An additional 100 upper primary schools were randomly assigned to receive either (1) CCE alone or (2) no treatment. It is found that students in primary schools assigned to
receive LEP perform 0.152 standard deviations better on oral tests of basic Hindi and 0.135 standard deviations better on written tests of basic Hindi than the control group. The CCE program had no significant effect on test scores for students in either primary or upper primary schools, and there was no significant effect of combining the two programs relative to LEP alone. Neither program, either alone or in combination, had a
significant effect on math test scores. LEP’s large effect on students’ basic Hindi skills indicates that programs emphasizing teaching at the right level can play a role in improving poor learning outcomes in India.