Exploring the differences in biology achievements of secondary school students across school systems and gender in Chitral

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Professional Development Centre, Karachi


This study aimed to explore academic achievements of students in biology at secondary level across schools systems and gender. A newly developed, field tested and validated tool Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was used to collect the data. A total of 289 students of grade ten were recruited through a cross sectional survey from public (n=5) and private (n=5) schools of district Chitral. Of the total students (n=289) 164 (56%) boys and 125 (43%) girls participated in the research study. Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was administered to explore students' academic achievements across school system and gender. Results demonstrated that students scored only 31% of the total score, exhibiting a weak conceptual understanding in selected concepts of biology. Overall results across school systems indicated that private schools have performed slightly better than their Public counterparts; however, the difference was not significant (p>0.05). Moreover, comparison of MCQs and CRQs across school system demonstrated that private schools have scored significantly higher in MCQs and public schools have shown significantly better performance in CRQs (p> 0.001 for both). Furthermore, public schools have performed significantly better in study of life ecology and biodiversity with a small effect size (r=-0.18).Similarly, private schools have performed significantly better in cell biology (p< 0.01), with a medium effect size (r=0.27). Students' performance in cognitive domains revealed that private schools students have shown better performance in knowledge and reasoning level while public schools have performed better in application level. However, the differences were too small to be significant. Furthermore, overall academic achievement across gender revealed that girls have performed significantly better as compared to boys (p<0.001). Students' performance across gender demonstrated that girls have outperformed boys in both MCQs and CRQs, with a significant difference (p<0.001). Performance in content domains across gender showed that girls have performed significantly better in life process as compared to boys. In cognitive domains, girls have performed significantly better in knowledge and reasoning levels (p<0.001) as compared to boys.

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