Randomised Control Trial (RCT): Year One

The Liberian Education Advancement Program (LEAP) – formerly Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) – is a public private partnership with eight non state actors designed to improve school management in order to bring about improved learning outcomes for students across the government school system. 

In parallel, the Ministry of Education commissioned a three year Randomised Control Trial (RCT) – conducted by the Center for Global Development and Innovations for Poverty Actiondesigned to study and measure whether LEAP improves learning outcomes. 

The initial report released after year one revealed impressive learning gains.

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Key finding

  • Compared to traditional public schools, the preliminary results from Year One of the PSL/LEAP pilot revealed learning gains of 60% or more in partnership schools, and of over 100% in Bridge schools.

Further findings

  • Over one school year, learning gains for students in PSL public schools were equivalent to 0.56 extra years of schooling for English and 0.66 extra years for maths.
  • Students at Bridge run public schools learned significantly more than students at traditional public schools, nearly twice as much in reading and more than twice as much in maths. This is the equivalent of an additional year of schooling
  • Across all schools within the PPP, teachers were 50% more likely to be in school (60% attendance at PPP schools versus 40% attendance at traditional schools)
  • Teachers in PSL public schools were 16 percentage points more likely to be engaged in actual teaching. This is a radical improvement in areas where teacher absenteeism is at 60%.
  • Over 80% of parents and teachers at traditional public schools wish Bridge and other PSL partners would open more PSL public schools.
  • When compared to traditional schools, parents of students in Bridge run PSL public schools are more satisfied with school and students are happier
  • PSL public schools are better managed – inclusion in the PSL program moves the average public school from the 50th to the 66th percentile in management practices — in just one school year.