Mahounan Patrice Yedomiffi, Illinois PhD Student, Economics -https://economics.illinois.edu/profile/pmy2
Enrollment rates for primary education in developing countries have increased significantly over the past few decades, but secondary school completion rates still lag far behind. In this study, I present the outcomes of a randomized controlled trial I conducted in Benin investigating the effects of providing parents with information about their role in their child’s education through weekly phone calls. Encompassing 2,094 8th-grade students in 20 secondary schools, the intervention led to a substantial 4-percentage-point increase in grade completion. This stems from a statistically significant 0.107 standard deviation increase in the year-end GPA, driven by STEM subjects. The intervention benefits weaker students, elevating their likelihood of advancing by 10 percentage points. Educational improvements are due to improved parental knowledge about their child’s performance, increased parental involvement at school and home, and reductions in household child chores. For sub-Saharan Africa, these results offer a promising and cost-effective strategy to improve educational outcomes.