Across six Sub-Saharan African countries, grade 4 students of teachers who were hired after a free primary education reform perform worse, on average, on language and math tests—statistically significantly so in language—than students of teachers who were hired before the reform. Teachers who were hired just after the reform also perform worse, on average, on tests of subject content knowledge than those hired before the reform. The results are sensitive to the time frames considered in the analysis, and aggregate results mask substantial variation across countries—gaps are large and significant in some countries but negligible in others. Analysis of teacher demographic and education characteristics—including education level or teacher certification—as well as teacher classroom-level behaviors reveals few systematic differences associated with being hired pre- or post-reform.
Filmer, D. 2023. Long-Lived Consequences of Rapid Scale-Up? The Case of Free Primary Education in Six Sub-Saharan African Countries. RISE Working Paper Series. 23/128. https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2023/128