The Effect of the Covid-19 Lockdown on the Academic Ecosystem: Survey of Households and Pre-Primary Facilities in Tamil Nadu

Researchers studied the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on households with children between the ages of 2-7 years as well as the pre-primary facilities, known as anganwadi centers (AWCs), in which their children are enrolled in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Household phone surveys focused on the enrolment details and the academic resources available to children in the sample, the income shock to the households, and the support provided by AWCs, schools, and the government during the lockdown. Phone surveys with the pre-primary facilities captured data on how they have been responding to the lockdown.

Project Summary

Location: Tamil Nadu (districts of Kancheepuram, Tiruchirapalli, Karur and Virudhunagar)
Sample: 22,000 households and 2,200 pre-primary care facilities
Timeline: October 2020 - January 2021
J-PAL Initiatives providing funding: N/A
Target group: Children; Families and households; Students
Outcome of interest: Enrolment and attendance; Earnings and income; Social service delivery; Student learning
Covid-19 dimensions: Economic shocks on individuals, Households and SMEs; Access to government relief measures; Education and learning
Mode of data collection: Computer-assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) / phone surveys
Nature of activities: Data Collection (Surveys)
Research paper(s): N/A

Project Details

Researchers partnered with the Government of Tamil Nadu’s Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department in a randomized evaluation to understand the impact of introducing lower and upper kindergarten classes in pre-primary care facilities known as anganwadi Centres (AWCs) on the learning outcomes of students at the end of their preschool education and through early primary grades.

The evaluation is also studying the changes in school enrolment across public and private schools as well as the proportion of children who are in out-of-school sectors at the pre-primary and primary levels.

Out of 2,381 eligible AWCs, as identified by the Government of Tamil Nadu, the study is being conducted in a sample of 197 AWCs in the rural areas of four districts—Kancheepuram, Tiruchirapalli, Karur and Virudhunagar. The program is being rolled out in 108 randomly selected AWCs with 89 AWCs serving as the comparison group. As part of this study, approximately 22,000 household and 2,000 pre-primary facilities were surveyed. 

This descriptive study focuses on additional rounds of data collection being undertaken as a part of this randomized evaluation to better understand the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown. Household phone surveys are being conducted with a focus on:

  •  The enrolment details and the academic resources available to children in the sample.

  •  The income shock to the households.

  • The support provided by AWCs, schools, and the government during the lockdown. 

  • Phone surveys with the facilities aim to capture data around how they have been responding to the lockdown.

Research Results

Results forthcoming.

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