Parents’, teacher’s, and head teacher’s perceptions of the Primary Education Stipend Programme (PESP) in improving access and quality of primary education in Bangladesh

Hossain, Md. Altaf (2017) Parents’, teacher’s, and head teacher’s perceptions of the Primary Education Stipend Programme (PESP) in improving access and quality of primary education in Bangladesh. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Sussex.

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The Primary Education Stipend Programme (PESP) receives accolades and support from the government and policy partners (such as ADB, World Bank, DFID) in spite of deficiencies in its implementation. The general impression is that the programme is increasing equitable access to quality education for poor children. However, there is no study to understand how and to what extent PESP receiving children are benefiting and how it influences and affects the school.

This study was undertaken to understand the policy gap between the introduction and implementation of the PESP by examining parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of the PESP and its effects on teaching and learning, and school management. These perspectives provide a broader understanding of the effectiveness of the programme in realizing its goals.

This study uses a qualitative case study approach and selects one rural primary school for in-depth investigation. Three groups of parents of children were interviewed: those who completed primary cycle; those who dropped out of school, and; those whose PESP benefits had been rescinded due to poor attendance and performance. Two parents were included from each group in this study. The head teacher and one assistant teacher are also included in this study to explore the effects of the PESP on the schoolcommunity relationship and school management processes.

The study found different types of deception in selecting beneficiaries. The strategy of not including more than one child from a single family is evident that results in many poor children’s exclusion from the benefit. Conditionality is used to exclude lowperforming children from the benefit which restricts access to education for a considerable number of poor children and many non-poor children receive the benefit. Thus, the PESP benefits the non-poor people. The amount of stipend money is also found insufficient for ensuring necessary learning materials for the poor children. Lower amounts due to unmet conditionality and other charges at times trigger discord and dispute and hamper children’s learning. The stipend money increases private investment in education in the form of private coaching fees.

The PESP does not incentivize poor children to learn. In addition, it does not increase the teacher’s confidence of their educability or increase children’s confidence in their capacity to learn. Rather, a sense of the incorrigibility of poor children has been established and teachers allege deteriorating learning condition in crowded classrooms caused by the PESP.

With regard to the parent-teacher relationship, this study finds a bitter antagonistic stance brew between the two groups and creates unintended effects. The teacher and the head teacher accuse parents of not providing adequate support at home and parents allege the school for not providing required care and attention for their children. This mutual disregard affects the teacher-student relationship and undermines poor children’s confidence to be educated equally with non-poor children.

As a consequence of the conflicting perceptions of the aims and objectives of the programme and the perceived inadequacy of the PESP policy in society, this thesis will look for new insights into the process of implementation and the effectiveness of the PESP policy. This may encourage policy makers to reflect upon the efficacy of the programme as a strategy to increase access and quality education for poor children.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1390 Education of special classes of persons > LC2601 Education in developing countries
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 08:32
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 08:32

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