Can Technology Overcome Social Disadvantage of School Children's Learning Outcomes? Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment in India

33 Pages Posted: 5 May 2016

See all articles by Gopal Naik

Gopal Naik

Center for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Chetan Chitre

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore

Manaswini Bhalla

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore

Jothsna Rajan

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore

Date Written: May 5, 2016

Abstract

Poor learning outcomes in developing countries are mostly attributed to the low quality of teaching inputs in schools, primarily due to a shortage of adequately trained teachers and rampant teacher absenteeism. Children from socially disadvantaged groups are worst affected, as this lack of resources adds on to the already prevailing discrimination in the classrooms. Computer technology can be used to reduce these deficiencies and provide high quality educational content. We conduct a large scale randomized field experiment among 1823 rural government schools in India, in the state of Karnataka, where satellite-terrestrial technology is used to telecast additional interactive classes. Results show that this intervention has a positive impact on student performance. We find that this technology is non-discriminatory and reduces the educational attainment gap between socially disadvantaged students and others. In particular, we find that girls from these sections of the society benefit the most from this intervention.

Keywords: Information and Communication Technology, Education, Field Experiment, Government Policy

JEL Classification: C93, I28, I25, I29

Suggested Citation

Naik, Gopal and Chitre, Chetan and Bhalla, Manaswini and Rajan, Jothsna, Can Technology Overcome Social Disadvantage of School Children's Learning Outcomes? Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment in India (May 5, 2016). IIM Bangalore Research Paper No. 512. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2775558 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2775558

Gopal Naik (Contact Author)

Center for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560 076
India
2699-3194 (Phone)

Chetan Chitre

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560076
India

Manaswini Bhalla

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560076
India

Jothsna Rajan

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560076
India

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