Measuring and Assessing School Quality in Rural Malawi
Paul C. Hewett, Population Council
Barbara S Mensch, Population Council
Joseph Chimombo, University of Malawi
Sharon J. Ghuman, Population Council
Cynthia B. Lloyd, Population Council
In developing countries, the school is the main learning and socializing institution outside the family. Investments in schooling are critical for individual poverty alleviation, the achievement of gender equity and empowerment, and societal economic growth. This paper uses the first wave of a longitudinal study on primary school quality and its effect on adolescents in two districts in Malawi to 1) develop indicators of school quality; 2) rank schools by these indicators; 3) examine variability in these indicators by exposure to significant donor investment in teacher training programs and community infrastructure and involvement; and 4) investigate, using the school as the unit of analysis, the association between school quality and several educational outcomes including a) estimates of primary completion and secondary progression, b) aggregated scores on the literacy and math exams administered as part of the data collection, and c) results on the exam for the primary school leaving certificate.