For Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, but particularly for countries in the Sahel zone, full primary enrolment and completion at acceptable quality as codified in the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All objectives still remains a major challenge. In order to enhance education supply, many of these countries have launched large scale teacher recruitment programs in recent years, whereby the teachers are no longer engaged in civil servant positions, but on the basis of fixed-term contracts typically implying considerably lower salaries and a sharply reduced duration of professional training. While this policy has led to a boost of primary enrolment, stakeholders in the education system generally fear an important loss in the quality of education. Using data from the “Program on the Analysis of Education Systems” (PASEC) for Niger in 2000/2001, we show that once confounding factors are controlled for, the performance of contract teachers is not generally worse than the performance of other teachers. Matching students taught by contract teachers to those taught by civil servants provides no significant evidence of an advantage of the latter in grade 5. In grade 2, there is evidence for a sizeable advantage of traditional teachers – but only as long as job experience is not appropriately taken into account. Given the strong impact on enrolment and the generally insignificant effect on education quality, the overall assessment of the program remains clearly positive.