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QEIP Evaluation - Results & Recommendations

Author: Stubbé-Alberts, H.E. · Corbalan Perez, G.
Type:report
Date:2014
Publisher: TNO
Place: Soesterberg
Identifier: 519823
Report number: TNO 2014 R11460
Keywords: Training · Human Performances · TPI - Training & Performance Innovations · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences

Abstract

In 2010 War Child Holland (WCH) started a program aimed at improving the quality of education in governmental primary schools in Northern Uganda and Karamoja sub-region - Quality Education Improvement Plan (QEIP). QEIP uses a community based approach, involving all school stakeholders, with the aim to increase relevance and sustainability by putting the ownership of the activity with the children, school, community, local leaders and district. Through improving the quality of education and engaging parents, the approach aims to address some of the root causes of children dropping out of school. Meaningful participation of children is prompted by providing a platform for their opinions and views to be heard and enabling them to take part in the decision making process. The four key elements for quality education are: (1) Motivated and qualified teachers, (2) Conducive learning environment, (3) Transparent and accountable administration, and (4) Involvement of parents and caregivers. The intended results of QEIP are: (1) Improved quality of education, (2) Increased enrolment and retention of young people, and (3) Increased parental and community support for education. ---- Four years after the start of the programme, War Child Holland wants to evaluate the QEIP. The three goals of this evaluation are to (1) Investigate the perceived effectiveness of the QEIP, (2) Establish if the QEIP motivates meaningful participation of stakeholders, and (3) Collect suggestions for improvement of the QEIP and its implementation. The research methodology was specifically designed to fit this evaluation and includes a literature study, interviews, focus group meetings, observations and statistics. All school stakeholders were involved. A more detailed description of the research methodology can be found in TNO 2014 R11461 QEIP Evaluation – Research Methodology. ---- Overall the impressions of the QEIP in the schools are consistent. This means that the data collected is reliable. The overall impression of the QEIP is positive. All school stakeholders were very pleased with the program and the approach chosen by WCH. They especially appreciated the fact that WCH works with the schools to support the schools in achieving their own goals. Furthermore, they value the fact that WCH is available for a longer period of time. It also helped that there was some budget to e.g. improve the school, teacher housing or install solar power. ---- All schools formulated intended activities for all four elements of the QEIP. Most activities intended focused on a Conducive learning environment, least on Transparent and accountable administration. In general, more activities were implemented than intended, except for Transparent and accountable administration. This difference between activities intended and implemented is probably due to the fact that the intended activities were described in a rather vague way. Because of this several activities were implemented that covered one intended activity. The activities most mentioned were: make a school plan, improve the attitude of teachers, improve the attitude of pupils, improve cooperation between teachers and pupils, and between teachers and parents, improve teacher housing, improve classrooms and install solar power. The intended results also covered all four elements, with again the most intended results for a Conducive learning environment and the least for Transparent and accountable administration. The intended results most mentioned were a better relationship between teachers and pupils, a better relationship between teachers and parents, more motivated and involved school stakeholders, better enrolment, better performance and less drop out. School stakeholders perceive that most of these intended results have been achieved. The statistics do not always support this. One reason for this is that only seven schools provided statistics, and only three of these gave data separately for boys and girls. This means that the findings are not robust. The other reason might be that it is too soon to see these results: it may take some time for the improvements to have an effect on better performance, increased enrolment and decreased drop out. There seems to be an increase of enrolment of girls in the grades 1, 2 and 3, though. And Primary Leaving Examination scores of girls show a slight increase. ---- All schools started with training on roles and responsibilities for stakeholders. This initial training was well received and essential to sensitize stakeholders. In general, participation was a key element to success. Schools that managed to involve all stakeholders, were able to implement more activities and achieved more perceived results. A conducive learning environment starts with a safe learning environment, so safety is something that should be addressed first. Awareness of the Code of Conduct and educational leadership had a positive effect on this: corporal punishment was reduced. Interventions worked best if a number of interventions together supported one intended result. Time management of teachers e.g. could be supported by improvement of teacher housing, a school lunch and awareness of the code of conduct. Because teachers do not need to travel in the morning they can be in school in time. Because there is lunch, they do not need to leave the school to eat. Finally, understanding that being in time and teaching the children is part of the job as a teacher stimulates them to do their job. We also found that the purchase of materials can contribute to the QEIP goals, but only if they are a means to an end, and not a goal in themselves. More books in themselves will not improve the quality of education, but if the books are used to better prepare the pupils for their examination this will lead to better academic performance. ---- We can conclude that the QEIP has had a positive effect on the quality of education: all stakeholders are very positive about the QEIP, relations and cooperation between stakeholders has improved, the safety of the school (building) has improved, motivation, respect, and academic performance have improved and drop out has decreased. Statistics do not always support this (yet), but they are based on incomplete data. Meaningful participation has increased, also of children and young people. The most important suggestions for improvement are to train stakeholders to facilitate the QEIP training themselves; support strong educational leadership; help schools to learn from each other; specifically involve younger children; keep records of enrolment, drop out and PLE scores, separately for boys and girls; and perform a baseline study at the start of the QEIP.