The short-term effects of the Mobile Pedagogical Tutors: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in rural Mexico

In very remote and deprived areas students are hard to teach and teachers are difficult to train. We use data from a large Randomized Control Trial to evaluate the impact of Mobile Pedagogical Tutors on the education outcomes of students in 3rd to 6th grade in a community-based schooling model in rural Mexico, where the regular instructors are low educated non-professionals from the community. The mobile tutors devote their time providing a) pedagogical support to the instructors, b) one to one tutoring to the students lagging behind and 3) home visits to parents. Two years after the program inception, we find large and statistically significant effects on student assessments, parent reported measure of socio-emotional well-being and the probability of transition from primary to lower secondary. The effects are especially large when we augment the basic intervention with a strengthened training for the mobile tutors. When we study the channels through which the intervention affects student outcomes we find evidence that the mobile tutors led to an improvement of teachers’ practices as well as parental investments. We do not find evidence that the intervention increased student effort.