Improving School Leadership in Rwanda

This study investigates the short-term impacts of a school leadership professional development program implemented in 525 randomly selected schools across Rwanda from 2018 to 2019. The program aimed to enhance the skills of school headteachers in leadership, management, and teacher support. Although no significant average treatment effects are observed one to two years after the intervention, an increase in test scores is identified in public primary schools compared to government-aided schools by at least 0.11 standard deviations. This disparity may be attributed to the potentially weaker school management and resources in public primary schools at the outset, as well as the time constraints and ownership structure faced by headteachers in government aided schools. Despite the modest effect, the program shows potential for cost-effective improvement in student learning, especially considering that typically only one headteacher per school is trained. Further research should focus on optimizing the design of school leadership professional development programs and exploring the underlying mechanisms necessary to enhance their overall effectiveness.

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