Are our children learning beyond the basic skills? Findings from the 2016 Uwezo Beyond Basics Assessment in Uganda

Organisation(s): Twaweza East Africa

Date: 2018

Pages: 28 p.


Since 2010, the Uwezo learning assessment (an initiative of Twaweza East Africa) has reported on the learning levels of children aged 6-16 years in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Using Primary 2 tests in literacy (reading in English in all three countries, Kiswahili in Kenya and Tanzania, and selected local languages in Uganda) and numeracy, this assessment is conducted at the household. Citizen volunteers, in all or select sampled districts, conduct the assessment. In Uganda, Uwezo has assessed over 400,000 children since 2010, in over 170,000 households in over 13,000 villages. While the outcomes of the Uwezo assessment have widely been acknowledged, and the work continues to be relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) era for monitoring learning outcomes at lower grades (SDG 4.1.1), the Uwezo assessment has been inadequate in telling the story of how children transit from the basics to the ideal of lifelong learning. In 2016, Twaweza with the help of partners sought to expand this assessment by going deeper (assessing more than just reading and operations) and higher (testing skills and competencies beyond Primary 2). This was named the Uwezo Beyond Basics study. The study was conducted at school by citizen volunteers, provided instant feedback to engage teachers on what their learners could do, and involved discussions on the strategic choices that teachers could make to improve learning at their schools. This report presents the findings of this study, conducted in October 2016 in 195 schools in 10 districts in Uganda (Mukono, Mubende, Kaberamaido, Maracha, Butambala, Ntoroko, Ngora, Otuke, Dokolo and Kalangala). It is underlined that the sample of 10 districts is not representative of Uganda, and should only be inferred to understand learning outcomes in the sampled districts.

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