New study by Nobel laureate shows ‘largest learning gains ever measured’ using same methodology deployed in Liberian schools
MONROVIA – Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Michael Kremer has published a groundbreaking study showing “one of the largest learning gains ever measured” by a major study on international education.
The study, based on NewGlobe’s methodology, shows that the impact of the education provider is among the largest of any rigorously studied education program.
The methodology of the study is the same as that underpinning the Liberian government’s flagship education program; Liberia Education Advancement Program (LEAP) and ongoing work in schools supported by Bridge Liberia; his greatest partner.
The study was announced by Prof. Kremer to heads of state and political leaders at the World Education Forum in London, in the presence of the Minister of Education, Prof. Sonii, and the Liberian delegation.
Professor Michael Kremer’s study of NewGlobe’s methodological approach to teaching and learning, using one of NewGlobe’s programs, found that students from elementary school through middle school, after two years in the NewGlobe program, are almost an extra year ahead of children taught using standard methods. If replicated at scale in public education systems, the gains could be enough to put African children – including Liberians – from underserved communities on track to equal their peers in three-income countries. or four times higher.
The study further found that for early childhood development (ECD) – typically 3- and 5-year-olds – children gain almost an extra year and a half of learning; learn in two years what students in other schools learn in three and a half years.
The study also reveals that children taught using NewGlobe’s methods are more than three times more likely to be able to read a sentence by the time they are in first grade, compared to their peers in other grades. schools. The World Bank estimates that 90% of 10-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa do not meet this threshold.
The NewGlobe methodology achieved a standard deviation increase of 1.35 in pre-primary education and 0.81 in primary schools, a methodology that is the same as that used by Bridge Liberia; in context, this impact represents learning gains in the top 1% among large rigorous studies in Africa.
Speaking about the study, Professor Kremer said that “The effects of this study are among the largest in the international education literature, especially for a program that was already operating at scale.
“This study shows that attending schools with highly standardized education has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains on a large scale, suggesting that policy makers may wish to explore the incorporation of standardization, including standardized lesson plans and teacher feedback and tracking, in their own systems.”
The findings are a claim by the Liberian government’s LEAP partner – Bridge Liberia – which has been operating in all 15 counties of Liberia since 2017.
Bridge Liberia, a NewGlobe portfolio program, is the lead partner in an innovative, philanthropically funded public-private partnership known as the Liberia Education Advancement Program (LEAP), designed by the Liberian government to improve the learning of pupils in public primary schools.
The program was the first government program to use the methodology developed by NewGlobe and implement it as part of a transformation of the public education system. Liberia is now known – and seen – as a model for government public education programs on the continent.
This is the second study to examine the methodology used by Bridge Liberia to improve teaching and learning. An ECR study in 2019 showed that students in schools supported by Bridge Liberia had the equivalent of 2.5 additional years of learning compared to their peers.
It didn’t take long for other African countries – particularly in West Africa – to start learning from this innovation and adopting this model of partnership in education.
The Nigerian states of Edo, Lagos and Kwara launched similar government schemes dubbed EdoBEST, EKOEXCEL and KwaraEARN respectively in 2018, 2019 and 2022.
What all of these government education programs have in common is a partnership with an education provider that has a proven track record in the global South and success in providing educational support to governments and communities across the African continent.
President George Weah in his last state of the nation address, he acknowledged the improvement in the education sector and the progress made by the government in improving the lives of young people through quality education.
“Providing quality education to our future leaders has remained a top priority of my administration. I am happy to report that we have made great strides in improving literacy and other learning outcomes in the education sector, with significant achievements in the areas of access, the quality and transformation of the system.
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, a strong advocate for education, like many, believes this partnership is bringing relevant change to public education and calls on education stakeholders to support these innovative ideas.
“We should embrace new proposals and ideas that seek to move us forward as we seek answers to the educational challenges we face; Bridge Liberia is just one of many partners supporting the government through the Ministry of Education to achieve this goal; we must support innovation to enable us to succeed; we should welcome this effort”.
Bridge Liberia’s approach to transforming public education, recommended by the World Bank, combines structured pedagogy with technology-supported real-time data collection for accountability and feedback, especially as countries struggle to recovering from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Bridge Liberia focuses on teacher training and leverages technology to empower teachers and improve children’s learning outcomes, through intensive training, ongoing support, science-based digital education guides, management techniques positive class feedback and real-time course tracking.
UNESCO Vice President for Education and Chief Executive of Bridge Liberia, Gbovadeh Gbilia said:
“Improving the future of Liberian youth is the most important task of the Liberian government; Children are our future.
“As Liberians, we are proud that the techniques and methodology used to enable some of the greatest learning gains ever measured are also being used in Liberian schools. We all want more for Liberia and her children and we are taking proactive steps to make it happen.
“The data-driven scientific learning techniques that underpin this study by Nobel Prize-winning economist, Dr. Michael Kremer, are the model for the work being done under the government’s LEAP programme. They are currently supporting the Liberian government to improve learning for over 75,000 students in 350 public primary schools across the country.
Bridge Liberia is one of the programs supported by NewGlobe, a global education organization supporting large-scale public education improvements in state and national programs to ensure more effective learning in classrooms.
The LEAP program is set to be a central part of the government’s long-awaited five-year education sector plan, which is due to be released in the fall of 2022.