Can Computers Increase Human Capital in Developing Countries? An Evaluation of Nepal’s One Laptop per Child Program

This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative in Nepal’s primary and lower-secondary schools. This evaluation of the OLPC program in Nepal uses a pre-post test quasi-experimental design that consists of 26 program schools and 39 control schools that are spread across six different districts of the country. A low-cost laptop was provided to each student in grades two, three and six of the program schools at the beginning of the Nepali academic year (May 2009). At the same time, a round of tests in English and mathematics designed specifically for this program was administered to all students in grades two, three, four and six in both program and control schools. The same students were given similar tests in February 2010 and in June/July 2011. The impact of the OLPC program is estimated by analyzing how the program and control schools differ in terms of changes in test scores (double difference comparisons between schools and within schools), attendance rates and measures of non-cognitive skills. The exposure to computer-assisted learning in Nepal had no impact or a negative impact on student learning, non-cognitive skills and attendance. Students from grade 2 in treatment schools did particularly poorly in year-end English tests compared to control school students.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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