Day 1: Primary School Performance in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia & South Africa

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Day 1: Primary School Performance in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia & South Africa. Msc course in education & development 2013 | Introduction. Researcher at RESEP (Stellenbosch University) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Mean, median, mode and range

Msc course in education & development

2013 | Day 1: Primary School Performance in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia & South Africa

1IntroductionResearcher at RESEP (Stellenbosch University)

Research focus: the quality of primary education in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa

All research and presentations Ive done can be found at

Twitter: @NicSpaull


2Full paper available at:

3SACMEQSouthern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality14 participating countries61,396 Grade 6 students8,026 Grade 6 teachers2,779 primary schoolsSACMEQ II (2000), SACMEQ III (2007)Background surveyTesting :Gr 6 NumeracyGr 6 LiteracyHIV/AIDS Health knowledgeNB: See Murimba

Background: Data4

5Important background papersBackground to SACMEQ:

Hungi, N., Makuwa, D., Ross, K., Saito, M., Dolata, S., van Capelle, F., et al. (2011).SACMEQ III Project Results: Levels and Trends in School Resources among SACMEQ School Systems.Paris: Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality.

Ross, K., Saito, M., Dolata, S., Ikeda, M., Zuze, L., Murimba, S., et al. (2005). The Conduct of the SACMEQ III Project. In E. Onsomu, J. Nzomo, & C. Obiero,The SACMEQ II Project in Kenya: A Study of the Conditions of Schooling and the Quality of Education.Harare: SACMEQ.

Murimba, S. (2005)SACMEQ Mission, Approach and Projects.Prospects, vol. XXXV, no. 1, March 2005

6FocusThe focus of the paper was to provide helpful descriptive statistics on the quality of education in these 4 countries.7SACMEQThe most important parts of the SACMEQ survey are the numeracy and literacy tests aimed at Grade 6 students.

These range from very simple questions8SACMEQVery simple example questions from the SACMEQ 2007 Gr 6 literacy test

9More complex questions


SACMEQ competency levels11SACMEQ Numeracy items (Eg)

12SACMEQ competency levels

13Core grouping categoriesIn this paper the core groupings are as follows:Province (or SACMEQ geographic distinction)Location (Urban/Rural) (Large City, Small Town, Rural, isolated)Quintile of socioeconomic status (SES) (quintile=20%)Quintile 1 = Poorest 20% of studentsQuintile 2 = 2nd poorest 20% of studentsQuintile 3 = Middle 20% of studentsQuintile 4 = 2nd ichest 20% of studentsQuintile 5 = Richest 20% of students

One important grouping which this report doesnt focus on is gender.Some background descriptive statistics on each country14














Looking specifically at South Africa


South Africa: Socioeconomic breakdown29SA primary school: Gr6 Literacy SACMEQ III (2007)

Never enrolled 2%Functionally illiterate 25%Basic skills46%Higher order skills : 27%Technically it is never enrolled or dropped out before grade 6 (using DHS data)30Grade 6 Literacy SA & Kenya

SA Gr 6 Literacy

Kenya Gr 6 Literacy25%7%5%2%46%49%39%27%Public current expenditure per pupil: $1225Public current expenditure per pupil: $25831Technically it is never enrolled or dropped out before grade 6 (using DHS data) see Taylor and Spaull (Forthcoming)31

Grade 6 Literacy SA & NamibiaPublic current expenditure per pupil: $1225Public current expenditure per pupil: $66832

Regional comparisons

33CountryTotal population (mil)Adult literacy rateNet Enrolment Rate (2008)GNP/cap PPP US$ (2008)Public Current expenditure on primary education per pupil (unit cost) 2007 [PPP constant 2006 US$]Survival rate to Grade 5: school year ending 2007Botswana1.9283%87%13100122889%3Mozambique22.3854%80%77079260%Namibia2.1388%89%627066887%3South Africa49.6789%87%9780122598%Source(UNESCO, 2011)(UNESCO, 2011)(UNESCO, 2011)(UNESCO, 2011)(UIS, 2009)(UNESCO, 2011)

SACMEQ III (2007)Self-reported teacher absenteeismProportion of Grade 6 students functionally illiterateProportion of Grade 6 students functionally innumerateProportion of students with own reading textbookProportion of students with own mathematics textbookBotswana10.6 days10.62%22.48%63%62%Mozambique6.4 days21.51%32.73%53%52%Namibia9.4 days13.63%47.69%32%32%South Africa19.4 days27.26%40.17%45%36%SA in regional context34

Teacher knowledge35Maths teacher content knowledgeSACMEQ III

36Preschool incidence

37Grade repetition

38Free school meals


40Resources the issue?

More maths textbooksMore reading textbooks41


Conclusions, questions & recommendations

43High provincial inequality in SA, NAM and MOZUnacceptably high levels of functional illiteracy/innumeracy in SA, NAM, and MOZ Unacceptably high levels of teacher absenteeism in SAUnacceptably high levels of grade repetiton in MOZUnacceptably low levels of textbook access in SA + NAMVery low levels of preschool access in Botswana (given its education spend per pupil)Low access to free school meals in Namibia & Mozambique

Conclusions44How is it possible that more Mozambican students have access to their own textbooks than SA /NAM students, and this when SA spends 15 times as much per child than Mozambique?

Why do Namibian students do much worse on numeracy tests than on literacy tests?

Why is it acceptable in South Africa for teachers to be absent (unjustifiably) for an entire month?

Why is preschool education so uncommon in Botswana? (especially given the international research showing cognitive benefits of ECE)

For each country, what is the low-hanging fruit?

Questions45GET THE BASICS RIGHTGet all schools in the country to minimum quality standards in both basic infrastructure (water, electricity, desks, and so on) and in educational performance (numeracy and literacy milestones by certain grades); Set clear and succinct goals that everyone must follow. For example, Every child will read and write by the age of eight; also provide parents with feedback on how their children are performingAll children should have access to a quality textbook Textbook campaign + survey schools to check access & useAll teachers should be in class teaching for the full school dayTeacher inspectoratePupils who are mal-nourished should receive free school mealsRoll-out free school meals starting with most under-resourced communitiesAll pupils should attend at least one year of quality preschool educationDefine curriculum and resource requirements and train Reception teachersAll teachers must have a minimum level of content knowledge in the subjects that they teachTeacher board exam?

Recommendations46Quiz on graph interpretation from the paperSee handoutComplete in groups of 2 or 3