Lacking accountability has been widely blamed as a major culprit for poor performance of basic education systems in many parts of the world. However, reform efforts aiming to fix it have variously fallen short in achieving expected outcomes. Why is it so? Identifying a general lack of conceptual clarity as the key issue through an extensive literature survey, the dissertation advances a more comprehensive accountability framework, in which government role is highlighted as providing stewardship. In doing so, supportive mechanisms such as teacher in-service training and career development are particularly important complements to traditional discipline-and-control mechanisms. The research then explores how these supportive mechanisms are practiced in China and India which have two of the world’s largest basic education sectors. Using surveys and interviews with teachers, principals as well as other stakeholders in government middle schools in Beijing and Delhi, it is revealed that teacher satisfaction does differ significantly between whether such support is in place, whose effectiveness can further be explained from its incentive compatibility and the extent to which it advances professional capacities. Findings from the research therefore have great theoretical and policy implications, both to the two contexts and other countries facing similar issues and challenges.
About the Speaker
Yan Yifei (Bria) is currently a PhD candidate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Her main research interests lie in the intersections among “governance and accountability”, “education and development” and “China and India”, which get all combined in her dissertation project. She has also been a visiting scholar with the Center for Policy Research (CPR) in Delhi, India, and has conducted researches about urban-rural disparity in China’s health care, governance and interest-alignment of the Brahmaputra, and anti-corruption facilitators in India and China. She holds Masters' degrees (with distinction) from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research and Bachelors' degrees from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
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