Examining the Impact of Age on Literacy Achievement Among Grade 6 Primary School Pupils in Kenya

The main objective of this paper was to investigate the optimal age category at which primary school pupils from low income families perform their best in literacy at grade 6 level. Age is a potential learning barrier because of its link to cognitive development as well as its influence on interactions between pupils within classrooms. The sample consisted of 7041 grade 6 pupils, spread in 226 schools across six major urban slums in Kenya.

Using descriptive statistics, the researchers examined the distribution of grade 6 pupils’ age. They then examined incidences of over-age pupils and incidences of grade repetition across various subgroups of pupils disaggregated by factors such as sex, wealth background, grade repetition, school type and geographical location. Finally, using multilevel techniques, they estimated the pupil age category that has greatest positive impact on literacy achievement at grade 6 after controlling selected pupil and school factors. […]

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Community Participation and After-School Support Improve Learning Outcomes and Transition to Secondary School Among Disadvantaged Girls: A Pilot Study in Informal Settlements, Nairobi, Kenya

Research shows that providing girls with after-school support and mentoring in addition to such incentives as stipends helps them to stay in school and transition into secondary school. This pilot study in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya tested several strategies to support girls’ education. The first approach provided after-school mentoring/homework support in the core subjects of literacy and numeracy to girls from the same environment who had attained a grade of C+ or above, the minimum required for university entry.

The second intervention targeted parents, community leaders, and gatekeepers to support schooling for girls aged 12-19 who are at risk of not completing primary school and consequently not transitioning to secondary school. The third intervention provides conditional financial support to girls from poor households who obtain a mean score of 250 or above on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) at the end of the primary school cycle. […]

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I Have a Dream!

That one day, our children will come to love Math and Reading!  Part I Think of a school system without […]

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Community Participation and After-School Support to Improve Learning Outcomes and Transition to Secondary School Among Disadvantaged Girls: A Pilot Study in Informal Urban Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya (Midterm Report, November 2014)

The overall goal of this study is to improve learning outcomes and transition to secondary school through community participation and after-school support among disadvantaged girls in urban informal settlements of Nairobi. The improving learning outcomes and transition to secondary school study is a three-year intervention study which started in 2013 and ends in 2015. The study is being implemented in two informal urban settlement of Nairobi, Kenya called Korogocho and Viwandani, by CSOs/NGOs Miss Korogocho and U-Tena respectively. The evaluation is being conducted by APHRC. The baseline survey was conducted in June 2013, and the intervention started in July of the same year. This is to be achieved through increasing access and transition to quality secondary education among girls living in the urban informal settlements, and through parental and community support. The expected outcomes of the study are increased attendance, improved learning outcomes, and transition to secondary schools for girls in grades 6, seven and eight from poor households.

Between the baseline and midterm evaluations, girls in grades seven and eight were exposed to 12 months of after-school support and mentoring, while their parents were exposed to guidance and counseling over the same period. The midterm evaluation was conducted with the aim of enumerating the short term outcomes of the study during the year, specifically, the progress of the intervention, and achievements. The results of the midterm evaluation will inform the processes of the intervention in the third year of implementation. The midterm evaluation study sought to answer the following questions: 1) does the after-school learning support and mentoring lead to improved learning outcomes; 2) does the promise of subsidizing the cost of secondary first grade entry increase the transition of girls to secondary schools; and 3) how does increased awareness about the challenges of girl’s education in the community by parents and community leaders lead to increased support for and improved learning outcomes among girls. […]

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Closing the Performance Gap in Student Learning Outcomes Between Private and Public Schools*

In developing countries, school enrollment has increased tremendously over the past 10 years. For instance, between 2003 and 2008, primary school enrollment rates in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 18% with a number of countries recording gross enrollment rates above 100%. Despite these gains, learning outcomes have been declining raising fears that children are simply going through the school system with minimal learning. […]

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Quality and Access to Education in Urban Informal Settlements in Kenya*

To achieve its objective of increasing accessibility to schooling and education, the Kenyan government introduced the Free Primary Education (FPE) policy in 2003. Although the introduction of the policy led to dramatic increases in enrollment, provision of adequate school places in densely populated urban areas as well as delivery of quality primary education remains a challenge. Kenya urban informal settlements are characterized by a myriad of challenges including inadequate provision of infrastructure and social amenities. […]

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Primary School Completion and Grade Repetition Among Disadvantaged Groups: A Challenge to Achieving UPE by 2015*

The 2003 free primary education (FPE) program essentially aimed to make primary education accessible and affordable to all children, particularly for previously excluded and disadvantaged groups. This is congruent to the millennium development goal (MDG) that calls for achieving universal primary education by 2015; where all school-age children not only enroll in primary schools but also complete a full course of primary schooling. Despite a rapid increase in primary school enrollment following the FPE program, primary completion and progression rates have remained very low. Low completion and progression rates are a major challenge and a concern of achieving the MDG on universal primary education by 2015. […]

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