Casley Gera, Ravinder

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Last updated: June 12, 2024
Ravinder Casley Gera is an education specialist at the World Bank focusing on education finance, impact evaluation, and the determinants of foundational learning. Gera believes that every child around the world deserves a high-quality education and is passionate about addressing the constraints that can prevent children from learning and achieving their potential. He has played a leadership role in a wide range of research, overseeing data collection and analysis for the Malawi Longitudinal School Survey over five years and mutiple rounds and evaluation outputs. He has prepared more than US$400 million in investment projects for the World Bank in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Tanzania. Originally from the United Kingdom, Casley Gera was a Kennedy Scholar at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and holds an MSc in development studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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  • Publication
    What Matters for Learning in Malawi? Evidence from the Malawi Longitudinal School Survey
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-10) Asim, Salman; Casley Gera, Ravinder
    Since the introduction of free primary education in 1994, Malawi has achieved rapid expansion in access to school, but the resulting rapid growth in enrollments have outstripped the increase in resources and capacity of the system to deliver learning. The result is an education system with widespread overcrowding and large disparities in conditions, access, and learning outcomes between schools. "What Matters for Learning in Malawi? Evidence from the Malawi Longitudinal School Survey" presents one of the most comprehensive pictures ever presented of conditions, practices, and learning outcomes in a low-income country. Using data from a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of more than 500 schools; 4,000 teachers; and a gender-balanced, random sample of more than 13,000 grade 4 students, this book presents a robust analysis of the school-, teacher-, and student-level characteristics that prevent students from learning. The analysis reveals a strong relationship between the remoteness of a school’s location and inequities in school conditions, including the availability and condition of infrastructure, teaching and learning materials, finance, staffing, and supervision. Large class sizes limit the effectiveness of even skilled and highly motivated teachers. Poor learning outcomes are also evident in schools with high proportions of students who have illiterate parents; speak minority languages; are older than the typical age for their grade; and, particularly, have a poor mindset. A dedicated chapter focused on girls’ learning shows that student-level characteristics account for the majority of variation in learning outcomes; of those characteristics, gender is associated with the biggest inequities. The book introduces a new Disadvantage Index (DI) as tool to understand the ways in which multiple dimensions of disadvantage at the school level interact, and it models the impact of investing in low-cost classrooms and additional lower primary teachers at the most disadvantaged schools. What Matters for Learning in Malawi? will be of interest to researchers, educators, and policy makers who have an interest in improving learning outcomes in low-income countries and populations.