The role of school management in improving pupils ‘academic performance in government-aided primary schools: the case of two primary schools in Yumbe district in the west Nile region of Uganda

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Ms. Mary Anyango Oluga

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Improving pupils’ academic performance in primary school is a success story in endeavours to advance educational goals. However, pupils’ academic performance is wanting in most primary schools throughout Uganda in general and Yumbe district in particular despite heavy government-investments in universalising primary education since 1997. This case study, therefore, explored the role of school management in improving pupils’ academic performance in two neighbouring government-aided primary schools in Yumbe district in the West Nile Region of Uganda. It was guided by three objectives: to find the perceptions of school management about academic performance; to ascertain the reasons for disparities in performance between the two schools; and to determine the extent of performance school management roles. Ninety five participants sampled comprised of SMC/PTA members; pupils, teachers, head-teachers and district officials. Data was collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions, interviews and documentary review of records. The findings showed significant disparities between the schools in the trend of academic performance in PLE for the last seven years. School-related factors known to influence performance including school location, class size, facilities, pupil-teacher ratios and pupil-textbook ratios did not differ greatly between the two schools. However, disparities existed in gender, age and education levels of SMC/PTA members and performance of school management roles between the two schools. The major dimensions of school management roles where disparities existed between the schools were: collaborative planning; community engagement; monitoring/supervision; and organising/setting direction for school activities. It was concluded that, a true/direct relationship exists between the role of school management and the trends in academic performance. To improve commitment /innovations in school management and academic performance, election of SMC/PTA members should have considerations for balancing gender, age and formal education. The SMC/PTA committees including teachers should be routinely inducted and trained on their roles for improving school management and academic performance.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library