Primary School Management and Gender Development in Bangladesh: Linkages between Intervention and Impact

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2006-07-26

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Title of Dissertation: PRIMARY SCHOOL MANAGEMENT AND GENDER DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH: LINKAGES BETWEEN INTERVENTION AND IMPACT

                             Muna Hossain, Doctor of Philosophy, 2006

Dissertation Directed by: Professor Marcus Franda Department of Government and Politics

This dissertation is an attempt to understand the impact of primary school management on learning outcomes of females in Bangladesh. A major research question that guided this study was: Why the children of government primary schools have lower levels of competency compared to children in BRAC schools? The impact of school management on learning outcomes of females is understood by focusing on six key variables: 1) Facilities, Resources and Services Available to Students; 2) Teacher Inputs; 3) Curriculum Design and Modes of Delivery of Lessons; 4) Parent and Community Involvement in School Activities; 5) School Monitoring and Evaluation; and 6) Students and Parents' Expectations. The empirical data, collected in 2004-2005 from six schools in Mymensingh District in Bangladesh. The sample consisted of two Government Primary Schools (GPS), two Registered Non Government Primary Schools (RNGPS), and two schools run by a local NGO, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC).

A combination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques was used, including, interviews, survey questionnaires, focus group discussions, classroom observations, and reviews of documents and records.

The key findings of the study are: Among the management variable factors, the availability of textbooks, toilet facilities, female teachers, contact and instructional time, parents and community involvement, instructional supervision, and expenses to be borne for education services - are the factors that significantly affected students' acquisition of knowledge, competencies and skills in the three types of schools.

Compared to RNGPS and BRAC schools, GPS schools had late supply of textbooks, fewer female teachers, inadequate toilet facilities, lower contact and instructional time, less involvement of parents and community in school activities and less instructional supervision. Although education in GPS and BRAC schools was free, students in GPS schools were charged unofficial fees for education services. These factors contributed to the lowest learning outcomes of females of GPS schools among the three types of schools.

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