Headshot of Siew Sanz Ng
MPA/ID 2023
WAPPP Intern, Cultural Bridge
Evidence for Policy Design (EPOD), Pakistan; Cambridge, MA

Despite significant improvements in school enrollment, especially among girls and the poor, Pakistan continues to face a learning crisis where most students lack foundational skills even after attending school for several years. COVID-19 school closures and household income shocks have worsened both learning levels and inequality of educational opportunities. To address this crisis, technology can enhance Pakistan’s learning environment by focusing on the needs and potential of previously marginalized students. A Targeted Instruction Program (TIP) will be implemented by Evidence for Policy Design and Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan in 2,700 public primary schools in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province to address students’ gaps in foundational skills and to support teachers in helping students to catch up to their grade level. The intervention will include diagnosing student learning, categorizing students into learning level groups, providing targeted instruction by learning level, and tracking student performance. The intervention utilizes a smartphone app developed by the CERP Labs team. Teachers can download quizzes, upload test scores, analyze results, and view detailed lesson plans and activities using the app. TIP is being piloted in several schools before being rolled out in KP. Siew’s role includes bridging any gap between the technology team based in Lahore and the research team based in Cambridge / KP to support the app development for TIP. In addition, she will lead TIP’s longer-term goal of designing a machine learning (ML) recommendation engine based on test scores.

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