16 December, 2016, Kampala: In its sixth year of assessing children’s basic literacy and numeracy skills, Uwezo continues to find that children are not learning as they should be.
Nationally, 3 out of 10 pupils in P3-P7 can do Class 3 work.
- In P3, almost 2 out of 10 P3 children can read and understand a P2 English story, but 4 out of 10 cannot read an English word.
- In P7, 2 out of 10 children cannot read a P2 English story.
- In P3, almost 2 out of 10 P3 children can read a P2 level local language story but 4 out of 10 children in the same class cannot read a word in their local language.
- In P7, 3 out of 10 children cannot read a Class 2 local language story.
- 3 out of 10 children in P3 can solve a Class 2 division problem. In the same class, almost 1 out of 5 children cannot recognize numbers between 10 and 99.
- By the time children reach P7, 15 in 100 still cannot solve Class 2 division.
These findings, released today by Uwezo at Twaweza, are from the sixth national learning assessment conducted in September to October 2015. Uwezo partners assessed over 94,000 children, aged 6 to 16, from all 112 districts in the country. Data were collected from more than 3,000 schools and 65,000 households. The report, Are Our Children Learning (2016)?, provides new insights into the current status of learning in Uganda’s schools and areas of focus to improve learning outcomes.
Although learning outcomes are poor across the country, there are stark inequalities between groups and locations. Household, school and locational factors seem to have the most effect on learning.
At the household level, socioeconomic status, assessed through considering the kind of assets owned by households, appears to have a consistent and significant effect on learning outcomes. P3 to P7 pupils who come from households with higher amounts of possessions seem to have an advantage over their peers of 4 percentage points in English, 2 percentage points in local language literacy and 4 percentage points in numeracy.
At school level, learning outcomes seem to be connected to pre-primary attendance, type of school and whether the pupil received privately paid remedial classes.
- Pre-primary: For P3 to P7 students, having two or more years of pre-primary experience boosts English competence by 15 percentage points, local language competence by 13 percentage points and numeracy by seven percentage points.
- Private school: For P3 to P7 students, attending private schools boosts their competence over their government school peers by 17 percentage points in English, 10 percentage points in mathematics and six percentage points in local languages.
- Privately paid remedial classes: For P3 to P7 students, attending privately paid remedial classes increases basic literacy and numeracy skills, English by 18 percentage points, local languages by 14 percentage points and numeracy by 10 percentage points.