Quality of Primary Education In Ethiopia: the Case of Early Grade Mathematics Competency In Tigrai

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Addis Ababa Universty


This Study Explored The Status Of Quality Of Primary Education In Ethiopia As Measured By Early Grade Mathematics Competency In Tigrai. For This Purpose, The Study Adopted Quantitative Research Design And The Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) Approach With A Focus On Counting Concept (CC) And Number Sense (NS) Constructs And Their Respective Indicators. Operationally, While CC Included One-To-One Correspondence, Cardinality And Missing Number Sub-Tests; NS Construct Was Defined By Measures Of Oral Counting, Number Identification, Quantity Discrimination, And Addition And Subtraction. Data Was Collected From 834 Grades 1 And 2 Students, 55 Teachers And 21 Head Teachers From 21 Randomly Selected Primary Schools And Seven Districts Of The Regional State. The Study Used A Data Collection Instrument That Comprised Two Sets Of Items: (A) Seven Sub-Tests On The Measures Of The Constructs, And (B) Background Questionnaire On Predictive Variables. From The Results Of The Analysis Of Data Using Both Descriptive And Inferential Statistical Techniques, It Was Concluded That: (1) Quality Of Primary Education In Ethiopia As Measured By Early Grade Mathematics Competency Is Basically Low, As The Mean Score Of The Children Fell At About 39 Per Cent, Far Less Than The Policy Benchmark Set (Minimum 50 %); (2) Urban Children Outperformed Their Rural Counterparts With Medium Effect Size (D=.78), I.E. 50% Urban Children Iv Surpassed About 78% Of Children From Rural Setting; (3) Gender Inequality In Favor Of Boys Is A Reflection Of Rural Setting, Indicating That Rural Girls Are At Double Disadvantage; And (4) Of The Variables Included, Age, Being Male In Rural Setting, Availability Of Functional Library And Textbook-Student Ratio Predicted Relative Success In Learning. Given That Early Grade Is The Foundation For Human And Knowledge Development, The Findings Are Not Only Status Indicators But Also Future Predictors. Students Who Start With Learning Problems Are Likely To Have Limited Capacity To Succeed In Upper Grades. The Findings, Therefore, Imply The Need For Deepening Our Knowledge Of Quality Dimensions In The Ethiopian Policy Context, Reforming Curriculum, Conducting Further And Comprehensive Research On Critical Achievement And Inequality Variables, And Designing Timely And Appropriate Intervention Schemes To Redress The Problem.



Quality, Early Grade, Mathematics, Competency