Increasing the number of children attending primary schools has topped the global development agenda since the turn of the century, with the commitments established by the Millennium Development Goals enhanced by the momentum of the Education For All initiative.
Many countries across sub-Saharan Africa have made laudable progress in boosting enrolment; in Uganda alone, the number of children in primary school increased by 28% between 2000 and 2010. This success, however, appears to have come at a cost; global consensus acknowledges that the quality of education has declined substantially during that period.
These declines have been widely attributed to the quality of teaching in these now highly subscribed schools. The challenge, therefore, is to understand how well teachers are going about the business of teaching – and what effect this will ultimately have not only on the quality of education but on the learning outcomes of the growing numbers of students.