Bringing Education to Afghan Girls
A randomized controlled trial of village-based schools
We conduct a randomized evaluation of the effect of village-based schools on children's academic performance using a sample of 31 villages and 1,490 children in rural northwestern Afghanistan. The program significantly increases enrollment and test scores among all children, but particularly for girls. Girls' enrollment increases by 52 percentage points and their average test scores increase by 0.65 standard deviations. The effect is large enough that it eliminates the gender gap in enrollment and dramatically reduces differences in test scores. Boys' enrollment increases by 35 percentage points, and average test scores increase by 0.40 standard deviations.