In Good Times and Bad: Low-Cost Mobile Teaching during a Pandemic
Posted: 21 Dec 2021
Date Written: December 17, 2021
In view of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper examines how a Home-Based Learning (HBL) program affects learning outcomes of children in low resource communities. To overcome limited internet connectivity, the program provided remote instructions via phone calls and simple text messages along with automated voice calls to engage children enrolled in grades one to five in activity-based learning content. This intervention was conducted in three districts of the state of Odisha in India. Our difference-in-difference results from the intervention suggest that there is a statistically significant improvement in mathematics and language learning levels of children. Our paper shows that well-designed low-cost interventions could be a useful supplement in low income countries to cushion the decline in learning levels and provide a safety net during school closure.
Keywords: COVID-19, education, India, home based learning, pandemic
JEL Classification: I2, I21, I24, I25, O15
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