IDB study: PATH leads to bet­ter high-school place­ment for boys

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

AN INTER-AMER­I­CAN De­vel­op­ment Bank (IDB) study has found that en­rol­ment in the Pro­gramme of Ad­vance­ment Through Health and Ed­u­ca­tion (PATH) leads to bet­ter high school place­ment for boys when com­pared to boys of sim­i­lar so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus who are not par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­gramme.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent study, “Higher school per­for­mance re­sulted in PATH ur­ban male ben­e­fi­cia­ries being placed in higher qual­ity schools rel­a­tive to sim­i­lar chil­dren who did not par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gramme”.

The study found that PATH ur­ban male ben­e­fi­cia­ries who took the Grade Six Achieve­ment Test (GSAT) over the pe­riod from 2010-2014 per­formed bet­ter on the test, scor­ing 16.03 points, or 3.6 per cent higher than non-ben­e­fi­cia­ries. As a re­sult, they were placed in bet­ter se­condary schools. More specif­i­cally, PATH’s ur­ban boys were placed in schools whose GSAT com­bined score was higher by 11.81 points.

REAP­ING REAL SUC­CESS

Therese Turner-Jones, the IDB’s coun­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Ja­maica and gen­eral man­ager for the IDB Caribbean Coun­try De­part­ment, com­mented on the study’s find­ings: “This is pos­i­tive news. The fact is that now more than ever boys need strate­gic and ef­fec­tive so­cial in­ter­ven­tion pro­grammes in or­der to en­sure that they have the best chance for suc­cess and im­prove their over­all ed­u­ca­tional and life out­comes. I am de­lighted that the PATH pro­gramme is reap­ing real suc­cess for boys in Ja­maica.”

In­ter­est­ingly, no sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant re­sult was found for girls’ school place­ment. The study, how­ever, points out that in gen­eral, girls out­per­form boys in all sub­ject ar­eas. The study re­vealed that, “Girls’ lan­guage arts and com­mu­ni­ca­tion GSAT scores ex­ceeded the boys’ scores by about eight per­cent­age points. In terms of the GSAT com­bined stan­dard score, girls out­per­formed boys by 21.28 points.”

Since PATH was launched in 2002, the IDB has pro­vided more than US$195 mil­lion in loans and grants to the pro­gramme. A key part of the re­form of Ja­maica’s so­cial safety net, PATH has the dou­ble ob­jec­tive of al­le­vi­at­ing cur­rent poverty while fos­ter­ing hu­man cap­i­tal de­vel­op­ment among ben­e­fi­ciary house­holds’ chil­dren. In con­trast to many other con­di­tional cash-trans­fer pro­grammes, PATH also tar­gets the el­derly and in­di­vid­u­als with dis­abil­i­ties.

PATH’s man­date is, there­fore, in keep­ing with the IDB’s vi­sion to im­prove lives in the Caribbean by cre­at­ing vi­brant economies where peo­ple are safe, pro­duc­tive, and happy.

The IDB study, ti­tled ‘Do Con­di­tional Cash Trans­fers Lead to Bet­ter Se­condary Schools?, is the first to doc­u­ment such com­pre­hen­sive im­pacts of a con­di­tional cash­trans­fer pro­gramme on boys’ and girls’ re­spec­tive ed­u­ca­tional per­for­mance at the pri­mary and se­condary ed­u­ca­tional lev­els.

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