One critical determinant of education quality is the way in which education systems are managed. Bottom-up approaches that involve local parents and communities in monitoring school management, curricula, teacher behavior, and instruction practices are commonly advocated policies to improve education quality. In this project, the research team is collaborating with Ghana’s Ministry of Education (MoE) to study the behavioral constraints to such parental engagement, with a particular eye to social norms. The team will conduct a baseline survey to characterize the prevalence of three types of potential constraints: 1) Informational constraints with respect to children’s performance and school quality; 2) constraints related to beliefs about the local support for social norms; and 3) expectations of social sanctions of parental engagement. Based on the findings of the survey, the team will work with the Ministry of Education to design an intervention to address identified constraints. Possible interventions include disseminating school report cards to the community, correcting parents miscalibrated beliefs, or establishing a channel for anonymized complaints; these interventions will be tested using a cluster randomized control trial with parents of students from 500 schools across Ghana. Results forthcoming.
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