Baseline Survey of Class Eight Student Learning Achievement in District Faisalabad (2007) (3)

This study was conducted to establish a base against which the Department of Education could measure initiatives and interventions undertaken in elementary and high schools in all districts of Punjab, and adds to the findings of the two earlier surveys conducted on junior classes in the same union councils.In total, students from twelve schools, six boys’ and six girls’, were surveyed from five union councils. Out of each of these groups of six schools, three were elementary and three high schools. Students were then tested in all major subjects taught, excluding Islamiyat.

The report showed that the student’s strength was recalling information while their weakness was lack of analytical skills. The scores in all subjects were generally unsatisfactory, with the exception of Urdu where a higher number of students were able to obtain more than 50%. Girls outperformed boys in the overall test scores as well as in individual subjects. Enrolment rate declined from grade six to grade eight. The condition of schools greatly varied and only a third of these were in satisfactory condition. Findings pertaining to teachers showed that more than 70% had the required qualifications, while the rest hadadditional professional degrees. An adequate number of teachers was available in schools, with little difference in boys’ and girls’ schools. The study noted thatmale teachers were considerably more qualified than their female counterparts but this did not impact teaching experience; and that teachers were not appointed to teach a specific subject in middle schools, which made their competency in a particular subject difficult to assess. Recommendations drawn for the Department of Education from the survey included paying more attention to the school building, classroom space, and appropriate allocation of teachers for different subjects; setting standards so that simply passing in a subject in the examinations should not be enough;and developing teaching competencies.

UK Department for International Development, GHK