Yue-Yi Hwa

Research Fellow - Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE)

Yue-Yi Hwa

Research Fellow - Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE)

Biography

Yue-Yi Hwa is a research fellow at Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), based at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. She recently completed a PhD thesis on teacher accountability and sociocultural context in Finland and Singapore. She has spoken on education policy at academic conferences, local government meetings, and general-audience forums.

Teach a girl to read, and improve her well-being for a lifetime: Evidence from 54 countries

This presentation draws on a study from Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), giving evidence from 54 countries on how literacy gained during primary school can improve a woman’s family planning, her children’s survival rates, and her empowerment. RISE is a multidisciplinary research programme addressing the crisis of low learning levels—despite rising school enrolments—in low-income countries.

This presentation draws on a study from Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), giving evidence from 54 countries on how literacy gained during primary school can improve a woman’s family planning, her children’s survival rates, and her empowerment. RISE is a multidisciplinary research programme addressing the crisis of low learning levels—despite rising school enrolments—in low-income countries.
Drawing on data from 129 rounds of Demographic and Health Surveys, covering 54 countries, this study uses new approaches to estimate the impact of girls’ learning during primary school on their well-being in adulthood, as measured by fertility, child mortality, and empowerment. By looking not only at schooling attainment but also literacy, and by using an instrumental variable approach to correct for measurement error, this paper improves on typical estimates of the impact of education. It finds that the impact of girls’ basic education—i.e. completing 6 years of schooling and achieving basic literacy—on subsequent well-being is three to four times bigger than the typical analysis would suggest. It also finds that literacy accounts for between 30% and 80% of the impact of education. Thus, this paper adds valuable evidence to the case for ensuring that all children achieve mastery of foundational literacy.

This analysis was conducted under the RISE (Research on Improving Systems of Education) Programme, a multidisciplinary research programme addressing the crisis of low learning levels—despite rising school enrolments—in many low-income countries. RISE is building a cross-country, systems-level evidence base on “what” education systems should focus on (universal basic learning), “why” learning levels are so low in some contexts, and “how” these systemic issues can be remedied.

All sessions by Yue-Yi Hwa