Entrepreneurship and Learning in Upper Primary Schools

Client: Going to School, Government of Bihar
Bihar, India
IDinsight services: Impact evaluation, process evaluation

The Problem

Soft skills education, particularly in primary-school aged children, has been widely cited in the literature as crucial to providing life skills that are important for labor market success for disadvantaged populations.[1] However, little evidence exists on the impact of soft skills programmes in upper primary school aged children in the Indian context.

Evidence Needs

Going to School (GTS) is an organisation based in Delhi that aims to use well-designed, inspiring stories with relatable heroes to increase educational engagement in students, teachers, and families and to teach underprivileged children in India the skills that will equip them to identify and solve environmental, social, and economic problems in their communities. Be! An Entrepreneur is a GTS programme designed to teach entrepreneurial skills to upper primary and secondary school children. The programme consists of a set of 30 stories and 30 corresponding skills activities to teach entrepreneurial skills to children in government schools. Once a week, trained teachers teach one skill story to students and play a skills game in the classroom. Over the weekend, children are instructed to create a skills-action project based on the skill learned that week.

IDinsight Service

IDinsight designed and implemented a randomized controlled trial to generate rigorous evidence on the impact of Going to School’s Be! an Entrepreneur curriculum on attendance, reading skills, math skills, soft skills attainment, and dropout rates among eighth grade students. Further IDinsight conducted a process evaluation to generate insights into the quality of Be! curriculum implementation in order to contextualize the results of the RCT and provided operational recommendations to inform curriculum scale-up.

[1] Unesco, Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012). Rachel Dunifon and Greg J. Duncan, “Long-Run Effects of Motivation on Labor-Market Success,” Social Psychology Quarterly 61, no. 1 (March 1, 1998): 33–48, doi:10.2307/2787056. James J. Heckman and Tim Kautz, “Hard Evidence on Soft Skills,” Labour Economics 19, no. 4 (August 1, 2012): 451–64, doi:10.1016/j.labeco.2012.05.014.