An analysis of pooled data for monitoring primary school pupils’ proficiency
Opaman, Amos N. C.
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In a bid to improve on the quality and relevance of education, Uganda government commissioned the Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) in 1987 to “appraise the entire system of education and recommend measures and strategies to address inadequacies hitherto identified.” The EPRC submitted its report in 1989 which was followed by the Government White Paper on Education in 1992. The Education Policy Review Commission (1989) report and the Government White Paper (1992) identified flaws in the educational assessment system, especially with regards to monitoring progress in education. The overall objective of this study was to analyze pooled data with a view to monitoring primary school pupils’ proficiency for quality assurance in order to aid assessment and monitoring of basic education, particularly in Uganda. Principal Component analysis was carried out to reduce on the dimensionality of the data set. Five principal components (uncorrelated variables) were extracted and then subjected to linear regression and logistic regression analyses. The study found out that in general, private schools were 3.0 times better positioned to improving the proficiencies of primary pupils compared to government schools. Overall, however, government-aided schools were noted to be generally good in raising the proficiency of primary school pupils. The availability of safe water in schools is a basic requirement for the development of primary pupils’ proficiency. This is 3.9 times more likely to enhance the proficiency of primary pupils in the Adequate Category proficiency level than those in the Basic Category proficiency level compared with schools without safe water sources. The study recommends that the learning environment (availability of scholastic materials, trained and motivated teachers and motivated learners) in rural schools should be enhanced, since urban schools were 0.79 times more likely to better the proficiency of pupils, basing on these factors. In conclusion, pupils’ proficiencies are highly affected by the surrounding environment of study and need to be addressed if better achievement is to be enhanced.