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Does institutional quality matter for primary school retention? Lessons from Uganda
Our study examines school institutional drivers of pupil retention schools in Uganda over the period 2008–2014. We use longitudinal data from a sample of 7824 government and privately owned primary schools. Using the fixed effects regression model, we estimate the association between institutional factors and retention. Our study finds that only three in every ten (32%) pupils who enrolled in primary one complete primary seven. Regression results further suggest that school retention is associated with moderate and not necessarily small class sizes which promote a conducive learning environment as well as group interactions among the learners. Additionally, retention is associated with boarding schools, and government–owned schools compared to their private counterparts. These findings suggest the need for government to strengthen the school inspection function especially in rural based government schools promote surveillance critical in addressing pupil dropouts. Furthermore, recruiting more and better trained teachers while regulating high school fee policy is critical to provide a support system for pupils to complete the primary school cycle.
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