Parental Engagement in Children’s Education in Tanzania (PECHET) Pilot Study

Project Timing

June 2016 – March 2017 and May – August 2018

Sector

Education

Location

Tanzania

Client

On behalf of Twaweza in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton University

Current Status

Follow-up ongoing

PROJECT OVERVIEW

In relatively low-income countries, like Tanzania, ordinary citizens often lack self-efficacy (Lieberman & Zhou, 2015), i.e. the perception that they can be influential agents of change. However, such perceptions maybe important pre-requisites for active participation in critical areas, such as public education (Lieberman & Zhou, 2015). The Parental Engagement in Children’s Education in Tanzania (PECHET) study aims to assess the impact of a proposed intervention that might increase active citizenship.

The goal of this pilot intervention is, through a series of meetings between parents and teachers, to boost parents’ efficacy in encouraging their children’s learning at home and at school. Ultimately, it may help to flatten the hierarchical power structure in the school community (Lieberman & Zhou, 2015).

The pilot baseline and endline surveys were conducted by EDI in 2016, across 24 schools in Bukoba Rural Districts before a potential scaling-up of the project based upon evidence provided by the data.  In total, 600 parents were interviewed in each of the rounds of the survey. The sample was structured as follows; 25 parents of students in Standard III were selected in 24 schools:

  • 8 Validated Participation schools (treatment arm);
  • 8 Information Workshop schools (control arm with information-only workshop), and;
  • 8 Survey only schools (control arm with no workshop).

At baseline and endline the 25 selected Standard III students from each school were given a 15 minute assessment on Kiswahili, English and Mathematics to see if increased parental engagement leads to better education outcomes.

EDI were also involved in four intervention workshops for 16 schools.  This included an introductory Intervention Discussion Session which was conducted alongside the baseline visit, two subsequent (weekly) visits to the school to undertake additional sessions and a final visit to coincide with the endline survey.

Validated Participation “One Shot” Treatment Design

This study is a follow-up of the Parental Engagement in Children’s Education in Tanzania (PECHET) study implemented previously by EDI in Bukoba in 2016 and aims to explore the effect of “validated participation” – positive feedback provided in the context of offering citizens opportunities to talk, debate, and make decisions – on feeling of self-efficacy and active participation in a school setting.

A total of 16 schools located in Kilosa district in Morgoro region were selected where 90-120 parents per school were invited and randomly allocated into three groups. Depending on the treatment group allocated, the parents view a video, are interviewed and participate in discussion sessions.

PROJECT UPDATE

The Validated Participation “One Shot” Treatment Design Study commenced in May 2018.  Training took place at the end of May, field practice and fieldwork were conducted in June 2018.

Lieberman, Evan and Zhou, Yang-Yang (2015) Can Validated Participation Boost Efficacy and Active Citizenship to Improve Education Outcomes? Research Design for a Pilot Experiment in Tanzania with Twaweza, Available at:
http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/miscellaneous_files/Zhou_Can_Validated_Participation_Boost_Efficacy_WGAPE.pdf