Improving learning outcomes and transition to secondary school through community participation and after school support among disadvantaged girls, A pilot study in Nairobi informal settlements
A pilot study in Nairobi informal settlements
This was an intervention study with an inbuilt impact eveluation. The intervention targteed girls aged in grade 6 in 2013, when the study began. The broad objective of the project is to improve learning outcomes and transition to secondary education among poor girls who live in the informal urban settlements. The specifc objectives are: increase after school learning time; increase awareness about challenges of and support to girls' education by parents and community leaders; decrease cost related barriers of girls' transition to and continuation in secondary education; generate evidence on whether and how the proposed model works; to influence policy on marginalized girls' education.
The study deployed a multi-thronged approach of interventions in support of girls' education, with three arms of intervention: The first component involved an after school mentoring/homework support where the girls were given support in core subjects of literacy and numeracy by girls from the same environment who had attained the grades of C+ and above which is the minimum requirement for university entry. The second component was the parent and community support. This component of the intervention targets parents, community leaders/gate keepers girls aged 12-19 years in order to provide support for education and schooling of girls who are at risk of not completing primary and transiting to secondary school. The third component of the intervention is the primary to secondary transition subsidy. This component of the intervention will provide conditional financial support to girls from poor households who will obtain a mean score of 250 and above in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) done at the end of the primary school cycle. The financial support will subsidize the cost of joining the first grade of secondary school by an equivalent of USD 113 and therefore enable the beneficiaries to transition to secondary school.
The project sites are two urban informal settlements of Korogocho and Viwandani. Further, the project intends to demonstrate how an education intervention with parental and community support can address the intergenerational inequality of access to secondary education.
Version 1.0, with anonymised datasets
After school support
Two informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya - targetted all girls in the two settlements who were in grade 6 in 2013. In total 1271 girls were recruited at baseline.
Unit of Analysis
The study covered all girls in grade 6 and their households in 2013 and prospectively followed for 3 years.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
African Population and Health Research Center
Dr. Benta Abuya
Dr. Moses Ngware
Participating girls and their parents
Benficiaries of teh project
Community gate keepers and support
The implementing partner CSOs - Miss Koch and U-Tena
Implementantion of the intervention
Releasing girls to participate in the intervention sessions
This was a pilot project to demonstrate how an intervention project among the urban poor can increase access and transition to quality secondary education among girls who live in informal urban settlements and to demonstrate how an intervention with parental and community support can address unequal access. The study adopted a quasi-experimental design with 2 treatments and 1 comparison group in each of the informal settlements. The enumeration areas in each of the study sites were grouped into three categories to minimize contamination. Thereafter, the 2 treatment groups and the comparison group were randomly assigned to these enumeration areas. Treatment group 1 was exposed to remedial instruction and community-based intervention; group 2 was exposed to remedial instruction only; the comparison group receives no intervention. Using the NUHDSS database, all the girls aged in grade 6 in 2013 together with their households were enrolled into the study.
Deviations from the Sample Design
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
The logistics involved putting the field team into teams, headed by a team leader. Each site also had an overall supervisor. Several measures were taken to ensure that quality data were collected during the period. First, team members in various study sites held daily meetings to discuss issues related to fieldwork. Household data was collected using netbooks, daily uploads were conducted and team leaders edited the work before submitting to the programmer for uploading in the main serveer. If a team leader found inconsistent information while editing, he/she had to go back to the same household to confirm the information with the person who responded to the questionnaire. All team members edited their work daily before submitting to their respective team leaders. Third, team leaders also accompanied different teams to observe data collection. They also had sit-ins with household FIs and conducted random spot-checks in some households to ensure quality. Finally, the core research team also visited every study site and conducted random household spot checks. Following these visits, the core research team held meetings with the teams and communicated issues and challenges that they came across and brainstormed on ways to improve the quality of data collection. In general, close and intensive supervision by team leaders and researchers ensured that the survey was conducted in a professional way and that quality data was collected. The assessmemt were conductrd in agroup with supervision.
Type of Research Instrument
A total of six survey instruments were administered to collect the quantitative data on the girls and their parents or guardians during the study as described below.
1) Individual schooling history questionnaire
This tool sought to get information on the schooling participation of the girls and focused on the schooling patterns, schooling history and school attendance of the student. It also sought information on the type of school being attended and that attended previously by the girls, location of the schools, reasons for change of schools, class repetition and reasons for repetition.
2) Individual behaviour / life skills questionnaire
The individual behaviour questionnaire sought to get information on the educational goals and future aspirations of the girls, test their level of self-confidence, personal behaviour, substance use, sexual activity, source of information on sex, drugs, smoking and alcohol, knowledge about HIV /AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The tool also sought to dispel myths about puberty, sex and HIV/AIDS.
3) Parental/Guardian involvement questionnaire
This tool focused on the parental support in response to a need of learning materials focusing on life skills guidance & counselling for girls. It was designed to investigate parental understanding of their role and that of the community towards the education of their daughters and to understand the challenges that affect girls' education in the two urban informal settlements where the education intervention is being implemented.
4) Literacy test
The tool was designed to focus on the four skills of literacy namely; listening, writing, reading and speaking. The literacy tests focused on one-on-one (picture e), one-on-one (words), one-on-one score cards which focused on testing the listening, speaking and reading skills of the girls. There was also a whole class composition writing which tested skills in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary of the students.
5) Numeracy test
Numeracy test assessed the three learning domains of knowledge, comprehension and application. The focus was on the curriculum outcome areas of numbers and operations, patterns and algebra, geometry, measurements and basic statistics.
6) Conducting FGDs and IDIs
In addition to the quantitative survey, we collected qualitative data by conducting six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 12 In-depth interviews (IDISs) in each study site. Three FGDs were done in each study site with one in each category (T1, T2 and C). The FGD comprised of a mix of both male and female participants almost in equal measure. Twelve key informant interviews were also conducted in each of the two sites. The participants included area chiefs and village elders all of whom were male. The IDI guide was to investigate the community gatekeepers understanding of their role and that of the community towards the education of girls. It was also intended to understand the challenges that affect girls' education in the two urban informal settlements where the education intervention is being implemented. During the exercise, the FIs filled the participant description and consent forms. In addition, the entire discussions were recorded.
Household data was collected using netbooks.
The assessment data: was keyed in using an internally program developed data entry program - the front end was developed using visual basicwhile the back end used MS SQL.
The literacy test tools were graded and scores for each item entered. The numeracy assessment consisted of multiple choice items, only the individual responses were keyed. Double entry was conducted to ensure consistency of entered data.
Estimates of Sampling Error
We included all girls in the study sites fitting the inclusion criteria and therefore this does not apply
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African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Community participation and after-school support to improve learning outcomes and transition to secondary school among disadvantaged girls: A case of informal urban settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Version 1.0 June 2017. doi:10.20369/aphrc-042:2017.1.01
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