Education reform dynamics and quality of primary education in selected areas of Uganda
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The study explored the effect of education reform dynamics and the quality of primary education in selected areas of Uganda. Specifically, the study set out to establish the effect of: (a) attitudinal (b) structural, and (c) institutional dynamics in education reforms on the quality of primary education in Uganda. The study was prompted by public outcry on the quality of primary education in the country in spite of the numerous educational reforms in recent decades. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional survey research design, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Total respondents comprised of 361 participants. These were constituted by 137 teachers, 67 members of Parents-Teachers’ Association executives, 45 Deputy head teachers, 42 Head teachers, 27 School Management Committee members, 19 School Directors, 10 Policy analysts, nine Education Officers; and five Members of Parliament. Data was gathered through questionnaire survey, interviews, and document review methods. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics while qualitative data was analyzed using thematic and content analysis techniques. Findings showed that attitudinal, structural and institutional dynamics of education reforms have a statistically significant effect on the quality of primary education in Uganda. Further, findings show that the failure of educational reformers to address the attitudinal, structural, and institutional dynamics of education has rendered the several reforms ineffective in enhancing the quality of primary education in Uganda. The study concludes that institutional, attitudinal and structural dynamics directly influence implementation of education reforms. Hence without due attention to the dynamics embedded within the education reforms, all reform efforts may be wasted. The study recommended that; first, the Ministry of Education and Sports should always closely consult and take seriously the views of key stakeholders; second, expand the mandate of National Curriculum Development Centre to include development and supply of educational materials to the schools; and finally, strengthen the technical capacities of school management committees to enable them oversee the implementation of educational reforms in the country. This research has expanded the application of the actionable post-colonial theory to the Ugandan context, by demonstrating how primary school education reforms can be improved despite the persistency of colonial legacies in Uganda’s education sector.