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This study will examine the impact of the Ugandan government’s School Facilities Grant (SFG) on primary school students’ access and learning outcomes. SFG was designed for government-aided primary schools to support the construction of classrooms, sanitation facilities and teacher housing for schools that were considered neediest (defined as those schools where the pupil-classroom ratio is above 55:1).
To respond to the national and international call on universalising primary education, the Ugandan government created SFG to assist the neediest schools in acquiring new classrooms, latrines and teachers’ houses. The programme has a provision of a school management committee to ensure equal access of all facilities to boys and girls including those that are physically challenged. This impact evaluation will assess the success of the programme in improving education quality in Uganda.
- To what extent has the SFG improved learning outcomes, as measured by test scores?
- To what extent has the SFG improved student attendance and reduced dropout?
- To what extent has the SFG improved teacher attendance?
- To what extent has enrolment increased, and repeaters and dropouts decreased as a result of the SFG?
- Has teacher satisfaction improved, as a result of the SFG?
SFG was designed to assist the neediest schools in acquiring new classrooms, latrines and teachers’ houses. Eligible schools receive, on average, US$15,000-20,000 to construct school facilities. The SFG funding was channelled through the districts and municipalities. The SFG guidelines stipulate that the community is expected to participate in the day-to-day supervision of the construction of the SFG infrastructure and maintenance.
Theory of change
The SFG intervention is expected to increase school access and improve learning by improving school infrastructure, which may motivate students to learn. Improved school facilities, such as new houses for teachers within school premises may improve teacher motivation and commitment to work.
The selection of the sample schools is based on a multi-stage stratified random sampling design. The selection of districts is based on the regions and the performance in matriculation examinations. In total, twenty districts that have a significant number of schools that are receiving SFG, as well as schools that are not receiving SFG will be selected. In total, 300 schools will be included in this study.
Quantitative data will be collected at the school level on enrolment, attendance and learning. Data will also be collected on school facilities (availability, adequacy and quality), staffing, school governance as well as parents’ participation in school activities, school facilities grant and related funds. For the qualitative study, key informants from the school and community will be selected purposively and interviewed (such as head teachers, school teachers, school management committee chairperson and parents).
Additionally, propensity score matching will be used for the secondary sources of data collected from the Ministry of Education and Sports.