Impacts of an Early Education Intervention on Students' Learning Achievement in the Philippines: Application of Propensity Score Matching with Panel Data

Dr. Futoshi Yamauchi, Research Fellow, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Washington, DC
9 June 2011
Special Seminar

“Early intervention is very important, since in human capital production, early stage investments are critical and have dynamic impacts on human capital outcomes at the subsequent stages. Investments in earlier stages affect the performance of students at higher grades”.

Dr. Futoshi Yamauchi, Senior Research Fellow in Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) shared this in presenting the results of a study on 9 June 2011 as part of SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series.

The study conducted by Dr. Yamauchi and Dr. Yanyan Liu titled “Impacts of an Early Education Intervention on Students’ Learning Achievement: Evidence from the Philippines”, assessed the impact of the Third Elementary Education Project (TEEP), co-funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank, to the learning and performance of students.

TEEP comprisedphysical and soft components that were given as investments to schools in the 23 most depressed provinces in the Philippines. These components included school building construction and renovation, textbooks, teacher training, other facility and equipment support, and school-based management.

Results of the project’s assessment show that TEEP intervention had a positive effect on the students’ performance and learning.

According to Dr. Yamauchi, the significant increase in the students’ test scores couldbe attributed to both physical and soft components of public school education investments. This can be clearly seen in the students’ performance,particularly in mathematics, which was positively responsive to the investments. Also, the early stage investments improved the performance of students at higher grades.

As justified in the TEEP assessment, Dr. Yamauchi recommends investing in school quality improvement, especially at the earlier stages, since it will be beneficial at the latter stages in education.

Dr. Yamauchi added that if there is subsidized and high quality education, greater numbersof quality students in public schools can be expected for a long time. (Jobelle Mae L. Zuraek)