This innovative project examines the causes of low educational outcomes in schools in India where many children fail to achieve basic literacy and numeracy levels, while dropout rates, affecting girls more than boys, are very high. A starting point of this research is that bilingualism and multilingualism have revealed cognitive advantages and good learning skills in children raised in western societies. Multilingualism is the norm in India.
The project will investigate how the accountability of schools differs according the school management model and whether accountability is linked to differences in learning outcomes. Recently, a great deal of attention from international development donors has focused on new models of school management (e.g.
 This interdisciplinary project will carry out innovative, policy-relevant research, focused on addressing the research question: "How do interacting dynamics in the social, political, economic and cultural context enable or inhibit the delivery of quality education in specific developing country contexts?".
 
Section 21 of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE) in India calls for the establishment of a School Development and Management Co
Indian children at school near Bodh Gaya
This project focuses on learning outcomes for 'disadvantaged learners' in India: children of primary school age who are disadvantaged by a range of structural inequalities, which are often cross-cutting, such as gender, location, caste, and class.

Addressing educational access and retention of orphaned and vulnerable children in high HIV prevalence communities in rural Malawi : a flexible approach to learning

In Malawi, where a policy of Free Primary Education has been in place for more than fifteen years, relatively few children have never attended school. However, despite high initial enrolments, primary education in Malawi is inefficient, with high dropout and low completion rates. Against a context of underlying poverty, research suggests that many of the children in Malawi denied adequate access to education are those orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

Photo ID 468142. 27/03/2011. Sudan. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran
Over 75 million children around the world are currently out of school, and over half of them live in conflict-affected countries (CACs). The evidence from this project suggests as an international community, we are currently failing in our efforts due to the "stunning lack of evidence" as to what works to promote children's learning in the context of conflict and crisis.
Results from this research changed education policy and practice, particularly in Ghana; and transport policy and practice, shown through the inclusion of children in the Tanzania Draft National Transport Policy Framework.

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