Exploring the effect of educational opportunity and inequality on learning outcomes in Ethiopia, Peru, India, and Vietnam
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The provision of access to good quality education for all requires not only improvements in access and quality, but improvements in the way access and quality are distributed between more and less advantaged groups. Longitudinal data from the Young Lives study in Ethiopia, Peru, India (in the state of Andhra Pradesh) and Vietnam offer a unique opportunity to explore these issues in comparative perspective. In this paper we examine trends in enrolment and learning across two cohorts of children, born in 1994/5 and 2001/2, comparing children by gender, household wealth and residence in urban and rural locations. The document examines both learning levels and changes over time; taking account of prior learning in order to understand both the cumulative effects of background disadvantage and school quality and the effects on learning progress during particular time periods spent in school. Further, the report explores the potential impact of school quality and ‘opportunities to learn’ in mediating the relationships between disadvantage and learning outcomes through two comparative analyses – a comparison between India and Vietnam on children’s progress in relation to curricular expectations and a comparison between Vietnam and Peru on the effects of differences in school quality on learning attainment.