Teachers’ Monitoring and Schools’ Performance: Evidence from Public Schools in Pakistan
This paper evaluates the impact of an innovative monitoring system on teacher attendance and school performance in Pakistan. In 2014, the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province introduced the Independent Monitoring Project aiming at increasing teacher attendance in primary and secondary public schools by distributing to the government-hired monitors smart phones with a special data collection software installed. Our analysis is based on a difference-in-differences approach using the country wide Annual Status of Education Report from 2012 to 2016. Our findings suggest that monitoring of government schools has increased teacher attendance by 7.5 percentage points in the first year of intervention. But the positive effect wears off to 2.7 percentage points in the second year. Child attendance and test scores also increased in the first year, but in the second year they disappeared. Especially, in the first year, the monitoring system improved students’ math, reading, and English test scores by 0.13, 0.14, and 0.15 standard deviation, respectively, if they are grades 1-5. This result suggests that teacher attendance has an important role in delivering better student outcomes, but that monitoring should be coupled with appropriate incentive mechanism in order to have a lasting impact.
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