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Journal Articles World Development Year : 2023

Colonial origins and quality of education evidence from Cameroon


We revisit the question of colonial legacies in education by focusing on quality rather than quantity. We study Cameroon, a country where a Francophone education system with French colonial origins coexists with an Anglophone system with British colonial origins. This allows us to investigate the impact of different teaching practices on students' test scores. We find that pupils schooled in the Francophone system perform better in mathematics in Grade 5, with test scores higher by two thirds of a standard deviation. Thanks to detailed school survey data, we are able to account for a wide array of inputs of the education production function, such as the economic and social conditions of students, the material conditions of the schools and classrooms, as well as some information on the teachers' practices and pedagogical culture. We find that Francophone schools have better classroom equipment and that Francophone teachers use more vertical teaching methods, but that these differences cannot explain why Francophone students perform better in mathematics. In the end, we cannot pin down the exact mechanism behind our result.
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hal-04135636 , version 1 (21-06-2023)



Yasmine Bekkouche, Yannick Dupraz. Colonial origins and quality of education evidence from Cameroon. World Development, 2023, 170, pp.106245. ⟨10.1016/j.worlddev.2023.106245⟩. ⟨hal-04135636⟩
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