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The Effects of Universal Secondary Education Program Accompanying Public-Private Partnership on Students' Access, Sorting and Achievement: Evidence from Uganda

Kazuya Masuda and Chikako Yamauchi

No 2018-4, CEI Working Paper Series from Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Abstract: This paper evaluates how the abolition of fees for public secondary education affects the access, sorting and achievement of students when it is accompanied by the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. In 2007, Uganda introduced the Universal Secondary Education policy, which solicited the participation of private schools to offer fee-free education by receiving public assistance. This has created (1) public schools (fee-free for all), (2) PPP private schools (accepting both fee-free and fee-paying students) and (3) private schools. We investigate the sorting across these types of schools, and further assess the impact on achievement, student composition, and learning environments by the type. In order to identify the effects of the policy, we utilize the across-cohort discontinuity in exposure to the program and across-district variation in the program intensity based on the pre-existing transition and retention rates. Our results suggest that the program increased the overall number of the students taking the secondary school exit exam by 16% in the median intensity district, the private school entry. It was not accompanied by a change in test scores, though learning environments worsened. Across the subsectors, the PPP and private schools experienced particularly large gains in the test scores. Our findings suggest that fee elimination can improve the access to secondary education with few negative effects on learning, and that PPP can provide one of the cost-effective means for financing it.

Keywords: Post-primary education; Uganda; Access; Learning Achievement; Fee-free schooling program; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J12 D10 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-edu and nep-ure
Date: 2018-05
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