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Using Learning Camps to Improve Basic Learning Outcomes of Primary School Children
Last registered on August 12, 2013

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Using Learning Camps to Improve Basic Learning Outcomes of Primary School Children
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000039
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
August 12, 2013 12:25 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
J-PAL South Asia
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
JPAL South Asia
PI Affiliation
Pratham
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2013-07-01
End date
2016-11-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2012 reports that less then 47% of students enrolled in class 5 can read a class 2 level text. The situation with respect to mathematics is worse with less than 25% of students in class 5 being able to solve simple questions on division. Alarmingly, this situation has been worsening across most states in India over time; the corresponding figures in 2007 were 59% and 42%.

A variety of "interventions" have been devised and tested to improve educational outcomes in India. A series of rigorous impact evaluations of Pratham’s (India's leading NGO in the sphere of education) work over the past decade have consistently found two effects: first, that volunteers make a difference in learning outcomes of children; and second, that learning gains in basic skills are greater and faster if children are taught based on their learning ability rather than by grade.

Based on previous evidence from RCTs and Pratham's accumulated field experience from across India, intensive short burst "learning camps" with a duration of 10 to 20 days have emerged as a promising strategy since late 2011. The environment of the camp is different from normal teaching - more fun and participatory. In India, the idea of a "learning camp" is a new one. The potential of a learning camp to achieve several objectives is high, as it provides a dynamic demonstration of how visibly learning can change in a short period of time. Thus the learning camp has the chance of being a "game changer" as people, parents and teachers can see in front of their eyes and in their own village that change is possible without a huge amount of resources.

The proposed project is for one school year. The aim is to test several models of learning camps on scale- to understand the optimal duration, periodicity, intensity and follow up that is needed to accelerate basic reading and arithmetic for primary school children and to sustain and build on these learning gains over time. The overall aim is to ensure that all children in Grade 3, 4 and 5 in the intervention schools are reading fluently and confidently doing basic arithmetic at the end of one school year.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit et al. 2013. "Using Learning Camps to Improve Basic Learning Outcomes of Primary School Children." AEA RCT Registry. August 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.39-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The Learning camps project will be implemented across 2 districts - Sitapur and Unnao in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. 2 blocks from each district will be the areas in which these camps will be run - Hilouli and Ashoha in Unnao and Sakaran and Biswan in Sitapur.

444 villages from these areas will be randomly chosen to receive
1. A 10 day Learning Camp four times in a school year
2. A 20 day Learning Camp twice in a school year
3. Materials for reading periodically in a school year
4. Control group which is not exposed to any of these treatments

The camps would be run in government primary schools (pending permissions) or elsewhere in the village.
Intervention Start Date
2013-09-01
Intervention End Date
2014-03-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Student test scores on language and math (learning outcomes)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The evaluation of different interventions will be conducted in the form of randomized control trials where equal number of participating villages (444 villages) will be randomly assigned to any one of the following groups:

1. Receiving a 10 day Learning Camp four times in a school year;
2. Receiving a 20 day Learning Camp twice in a school year;
3. Receiving only materials for reading periodically in a school year;
4. Control group which is not exposed to any of these treatments;

The random assignment will follow a stratified design where villages in each of the administrative blocks in the study will be divided into clusters of 12 each. The villages in each cluster will equally divided and assigned to any of the 4 above mentioned groups on a random basis.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in office using statistical program in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
483 schools in 444 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
30,000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
111 villages in 10-day learning camps 4 times a school year;
111 villages in 20-day learning camps 2 times in a school year;
111 villages in materials only treatment;
111 villages in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MIT
IRB Approval Date
2013-06-20
IRB Approval Number
1305005701
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers