Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools (LEAPS) - 2004
LEAPS surveys were conducted in 2003, 2004 and 2006
Whether one is in favor of private education or not, it is here to stay and there is a critical need to understand this new environment. Unfortunately, little is known about the private sector and what its growth implies for the provision of education. There are important questions we need to answer before engaging in productive debate about how education can be best provided in the Pakistani context. For instance:
a. Where are private schools setting up? Are they only being established in urban areas and only for the elite?
b. What is the quality of education in private sector schools? How does it compare to public schools?
c. Are the poor being left out? Is the private sector creating two classes of people in Pakistan—those who can afford private education and those who cannot?
d. What is the effect of private schools on government schools?
Unit of Analysis
How much a child learns depends on teachers, parents and the child herself. How these three coordinate and work together also depends on the head-teacher and the educational institutes that support the delivery of education. Our research strategy reflects this belief. We survey both schools and households and test children to assess how much they are learning. Here is a brief overview of the survey structure:
a. Teachers: Rosters with basic information for all teachers in the schools and detailed interviews with the class-teachers of the children tested.
b. Head-teachers: A detailed questionnaire with the head-teacher with basic information about his/her background and teaching experience.
c. Schools: We also collected information on schools, the children who come, the fees charged (private schools) and their current needs.
d. Children: For a random sample of 10 children from those tested the survey collects basic information on their households (parental education, assets and brothers and sisters), how far they travel to get to school, and their height and weight.
e. Households: We complete household surveys for 16 households in every village, with information on what parents know and what parents do with regard to their children’s education. In addition, these surveys contain the basic information on expenditures, assets, education and health that will allow us to look at the relationship between these factors and educational performance. For instance, when the mother is sick, does the child perform worse in school?
Tahir Andrabi (Pomona College), Jishnu Das and Tara Viswanath (World Bank), Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Tristan Zajonc (Harvard University)
The sample comprises 112 villages in 3 districts of Punjab-Attock, Faisalabad and Rahim Yar Khan. The districts represent an accepted stratification of the province into North (Attock), Central (Faisalabad) and South (Rahim Yar Khan). The 112 villages in these districts were chosen randomly from the list of all villages with an existing private school. This allows us to look at differences between private and public schools in the same village. Although these villages are thus bigger and richer than average villages in these districts, we believe this is a forward-looking strategy and the insights earned here will soon be applicable to a significant fraction of all villages in the country.
Deviations from the Sample Design
The attrition has been remarkably small, averaging 3-4 percent in each year.
Dates of Data Collection
Tracking Children: In 2004 we tested 12,000 children in 838 public and private schools in Grade 3 and re-tested them in Grades 4 (2005) and 5 (2006). In 2006, we also included Grade 3 children, increasing the total number of children tested to
25,000. These children all need to be tracked through the year to find out where they are the next year. The table below shows for instance, the status of child-tracking as they moved from Grade 3 to Grade 4. In the transition children could (a) drop-out (b) remain in the same school and be promoted; (c) remain in the same school and not be promoted; (d) switch schools within the village and be promoted (in which case they would be tested in another school) and be promoted; (e) switch to schools within the village and not be promoted and (f) switch to schools outside the village or leave the village all together. Although close to 1800 children out of 12,000 were no longer in the same class-school combination that they would have been if they did not switch schools and were promoted, we were able to determine the status of all except 500. In one previous study, authors could track only 10 percent of the children compared to our rate of above 95 percent.
Surveying Households: We have now created a longitudinal dataset of 1800 households across the 3 years, and in each of the years there are close to 750 children on whom we also have information on learning from the school testing exercise. This is the first database in low-income countries that combines detailed household information (including consumption aggregates) with school-level inputs and learning.
Data Collection Notes
A significant fraction of our effort so far has been on data generation. The first step in engendering evidence-based policy making is to gather the evidence. The tracking, repeated testing of children, surveys of teachers, head-teachers and schools and the longitudinal database of households takes up to 6 months a year to produce among all the participants in the project. Some highlights of the data-generation process include: Test Development: At the beginning of the LEAPS project, we piloted an extensive testing instrument that could be used in Pakistan at the primary level. The items in the test were then analyzed and the test was re-piloted prior to the first survey. In the second year, we added and piloted new items, leading to an increase in the total number of questions available through the item-bank for the project. This norm-referenced test has very high reliability, and is now being used in other provinces as well (Sindh). The tests were designed after studying the curriculum. The design of the tests also ensures that we covered all concepts relevant to the subject. In Urdu and English we start with the alphabets, move on to word-recognition and then sentence construction and comprehension. In Mathematics we start with counting, move on to addition and subtraction, multiplication and division and then fractions and word problems. The tests are graded and analyzed using Item Response Theory, which is the international bestpractice for evaluating test results. For a detailed description of the tests and in introduction to Item Response Theory, please see the “Test Feasibility Report” referenced below.
In order to access the data, you will be required to register. Registration is a simple one-step process and is only designed to allow us to keep a track of the users of this data.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
the Identification of the Primary Investigator
the title of the survey (including acronym and year of implementation)
the survey reference number
the source and date of download
In order to keep our database uptodate, we request that you provide us with a citation to the work you produce using the LEAPS data.
The data from year 2 will be available by December 2007.
Disclaimer and copyrights
To the best of our knowledge and ability, the data has been purged of identifying variables and errors of coding.
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.