Exploring students transition experiences from primary school to secondary school in a government secondary school of Karachi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The study aimed to explore the factors which facilitate or hinder students' transition from primary to secondary school. It was conducted in a Government Secondary School in Karachi, where students from feeder primary schools were given admission in grade six of the students' transition secondary school. Data was generated through two main methods. First, a small scale descriptive survey was self-administered with all the students of Grade Six. Second, in-depth interviews were taken of selected students, teachers, and head teacher. Observations were also undertaken of the school activities inside and outside the classroom. The data were systematically analyzed to identify emerging patterns and themes. Findings showed that the students' transition from primary school to secondary school is facilitated or hindered by factors in three main categories. These are: Physical factors (distance from home to school, school building and cleanliness, use of playground, water and washrooms facilities, and canteen facility); Social factors (friendship among the children, student-teacher relationship and students-head teacher relationship, school rules and notions of discipline leading to emotions such as fear); and academic factors (examinations patterns, weaknesses in reading and writing skills, changes in subjects and subject teachers, primary school examinations, grouping students on the basis of abilities). 1) Transition from primary to the secondary school is as a process and not a one off event; findings showed that process of transition continued, as students continue to observe and experience change due to physical, social including emotional and academic factors. 2) Transition is a complex and multi-dimensional because physical, various academic and social factors come together to affect the students' experiences in a complex and holistic manner. Moreover, issues emerge due to school policies such as admission to Grade Six of students with a wide range in academic development and age. The study raises several major issues and implications for policy and practice in teacher education and school heads.

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