Baseline survey of class four student learning achievement in district Faisalabad (2005) [3]

The aim of this survey was to establish a base against which project interventions and the functioning of the Department of Education (DOE) could be compared. In particular, it sought to provide inputs for the teacher training modules being developed under the Whole School DevelopmentModel being implemented in selected union councils (UCs) of District Faisalabad.It was conducted on two different sets of schools: one set comprised schools selected from UCs where theWhole School Development interventions were to take place, while the second set consists of a control group of schools selected from UCs which lie outside the WSD program. Assessment tests were developed in the subjects of English, Urdu, math and science for students of class 4, and were conducted on students who had entered class 5 in September 2006.

Findings raise questions about the condition of schools and the quality of education that children are receiving. According to the test results, students in only 11% of the schools were able to get total average scores above 50% – three quarters of which were girls’schools. Overall, girls outperformed boys in Urdu, English and science, with boys only doing a little better than girls in math in the first set of sample schools. Despite an increase in the number of primary school teachers, the report found little evidence of improvement in the quality of education. Recommendations drawn from the findings include the need for DOE towards improving the condition of primary schools, developing strategies to assess the impact of the increased number of teachers in primary schools, as well as examining and enhancing teacher training programs. In addition, the report also suggests that there is a need to review the policy of making English compulsory from katchi; set targets of at least four teachers per primary school;and design standards for stand- alone primary schools and for primary sections of elementary schools, which performed the worst; and develop strategies to improve the quality of learning in boys primary schools and the performance of male teachers, as both categories performed far below their female counterparts.

UK Department for International Development, GHK