mEducation: Mobile Phone-Based Interventions to Improve Learning and Parental Engagement in the Philippines
Given the challenges in education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines’s Department of Education is seeking innovative distance learning interventions by drawing lessons from other countries. Recent research conducted by the project team and funded by J-PAL's Post-Primary Education initiative in 2020 has shown that simple and inexpensive mobile phone interventions have significant positive impacts on student learning outcomes. These interventions have also been proven to be cost-effective supplemental learning approaches. Led by researchers Noam Angrist, Peter Bergman, and Moitshepi Matsheng, Innovations for Poverty Action is running a mobile phone-based intervention program called mEducation, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) to evaluate the impact of SMS and phone calls in improving learning outcomes and increasing parental engagement to support student learning at home. To promote scale-up with the government, IPA is adding a treatment arm of DepEd teachers leading the implementation of the interventions. This research aims to build a path to scale to adopt low technology teaching strategies responsive to the needs of Filipino learners.