Teacher competence and the academic achievement of sixth grade students in Uganda
The study investigates the influence of teacher competence on the academic achievement of sixth grade students in Uganda. The investigation is based on data sourced from the 2009 Southern African Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ) survey comprising 5,148 records of sixth grade students enrolled in primary schools in Uganda. The percentage scores of students and teachers in reading and numeracy tests were adopted as measures of academic achievement and competence, respectively. The analysis was carried out using a multiple linear regression clustered by six geographical regions in Uganda--eastern, western, southern, northern, southwestern, and northeastern. In addition to teacher competency, students' academic achievement in the various disciplines was modeled by the student characteristics of age, sex, rural-urban residence, class repetition status (any class), and length of pre-primary education. The results showed students' high academic achievement in reading and numeracy was significantly associated with high teacher competency in the same disciplines. However, this generalization may not hold for all students in all countries because of variations in learner characteristics and the learning environment. Nevertheless, the findings suggest the need to strengthen teacher competence as a measure to enhance students' academic achievement in formal education.