Modelling Academic Performance in Science-Based Subjects in Primary Schools Using Elements of Teacher Preparation in Uganda

  • Alfred Wafula Gulu University
  • George Oriangi, PhD Gulu University
  • Stephene Odama Gulu University
  • Denis Thadeus Ofoyuru Gulu University
  • Henry Ogwang Gulu University
  • Daniel Ochieng Ologe Makerere University
Keywords: Academic Performance, Teacher Preparation, Science-Based Subjects, Primary Schools
Share Article:


Low academic performance in science subjects has continued to characterise primary education in sub–Saharan Africa, despite several interventions by stakeholders. This study investigated the influence of teachers’ preparation for teaching and learning on pupils’ academic performance in mathematics and integrated science in Kigumba town council in Uganda. It used a cross-sectional survey design with a sample size of 180 teachers and pupils from both government-aided and privately funded schools. Interviews were used to collect data. Descriptive statistics was used to determine teachers’ level of preparation for teaching and learners’ level of academic performance, while a regression model was used to establish the influence of teacher’s preparation on pupils’ academic performance. Findings indicate that teachers’ level of preparation was generally good and significantly (P<0.05) influenced by their teaching experience and access to insurance. Furthermore, academic performance in mathematics and integrated science was significantly influenced by teacher preparation (P<0.05) arising from lesson planning, updating learners’ discipline records, and creativity. In conclusion, teachers need to continue being creative, planning lessons on a daily basis, and updating learners’ discipline records in order to improve pupil performance. In turn, the government needs to provide teachers with insurance coverage, e.g., health insurance, in order to free more of their time for lesson preparation. The study informs education and economic planning policies


Download data is not yet available.


Adeyemi, T. O. (2011). A comparative study of student’s academic performance in public examinations in secondary schools in Ondo and Ekiti States, Nigeria. Current Research Journal of Economic Theory, 3(2), 36-42.

Avvaru, R., Prusty, R., & Narayana, R. D. (2023). Teachers’ Concerns about Teaching–Learning Process. East African Journal of Education Studies, 6(1), 56-64.

Baumert, J., Kunter, M., Blum, W., Brunner, M., Voss, T., Jordan, A., ... & Tsai, Y. M. (2010). Teachers’ mathematical knowledge, cognitive activation in the classroom, and student progress. American educational research journal, 47(1), 133-180.

Coe, R., Aloisi, C., Higgins, S., & Major, L. E. (2014). What makes great teaching? Review of the underpinning research.

DeSilver, D. (2017). US students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries. Pew Research Center, 15.

Dunn, R., & Dunn. K. (2011). Teaching students through their individual learning styles. A practical approach. Prentice Hall, Reston ISBN:10.

Fullan, M., & Langworthy, M. (2014). A rich seam: How new pedagogies find deep learning.

Eberle-Sudré, K. (2020). What Matters? An Analysis of Teacher Training, Student Achievement, and Teacher Attrition in North Carolina (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

García, E., & Weiss, E. (2019). Low Relative Pay and High Incidence of Moonlighting Play a Role in the Teacher Shortage, Particularly in High-Poverty Schools. The Third Report in” The Perfect Storm in the Teacher Labor Market” Series. Economic Policy Institute.

Hasani, K. B. (2023). Challenges Facing Primary Schools’ Learners in Morogoro Municipality when Communicative Approach is used in Teaching English Language. East African Journal of Education Studies, 6(1), 90-102.

Hairon, S., Goh, J. W. P., Chua, C. S. K., & Wang, L. Y. (2017). A research agenda for professional learning communities: Moving forward. Professional development in education, 43(1), 72-86.

Hollins (2011). Teacher Preparation for Quality Teaching.

Hine, G., & Lavery, S. D. (2014). The importance of action research in teacher education programs: Three testimonies.

Israel, G. D. (1992). Determining sample size.

Kporyi, E., & Arko, A. D. (2020). Teachers Pedagogical Practices Vis-A-Vis Academic Performance of Senior High School Students in Ada East District, Ghana. International Journal of Social Science and Human Research, 3(12), 386-393.

Kukla-Acevedo, S. (2009). Do teacher characteristics matter? New results on the effects of teacher preparation on student achievement. Economics of Education Review, 28(1), 49-57.

Lamas, H. (2015). School Performance. Propósitos y Representaciones, 3(1), 313-386. doi: http://

Loucks-Horsley, S., Stiles, K. E., Mundry, S., Love, N., & Hewson, P. W. (2010). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics (Third ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Manning, A., Glackin, M., & Dillon, J. (2009). Creative Science Lessons? Prospective Teachers Reflect on Good Practice. School Science Review, 90 (332), 53–8.

Marzano, R., & Toth, M. (2014). Teaching for rigor: A call for a critical instructional shift. A Learning Sciences; Marzano Center Monograph. West Palm Beach, Fl.

Ma, V. J., & Ma, X. (2014). A comparative analysis of the relationship between learning styles and mathematics performance. International Journal of STEM Education, 1, 1-13.

Mitchener, C. P., & Jackson, W. M. (2012). Learning from action research about science teacher preparation. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 23(1), 45-64.

Muthoni, M. J., Gitumu, M. W., & Mwaruvie, J. (2020) The Relationship between Headteachers’ Supervision of Professional Documents and Academic Performance in Primary Schools in Embu and Murang’a Counties. International Journal of Pedagogy and Teacher Education, 4(2), 92-104.

Ngware, M. W., Oketch, M., & Mutisya, M. (2014). Does teaching style explain differences in learner achievement in low and high performing schools in Kenya? International Journal of Educational Development, 36, 3-12.

Oginni, O. I., & Oginni, T. A. (2019). Longitudinal studies of vertical and horizontal organisation on mathematical contents and students’ performance in secondary schools. EKSU Journal of Education, 9(2).

Ololube, N. P. (2013). Educational Management, Planning and Supervision: Model for Effective Implementation. Owerri: SpringField Publishers.

Oso, W. Y., & Onen, D. (2009). A General Guide to Writing a Research Proposal & Report. A hand book for beginning research (2nd edition). Kampala, Makerere University.

Osuolale, O. J. (2014). Problems of teaching and learning science in junior secondary schools in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Journal of Education and Practice, 5(34), 109-118.

Özçakir, B., Özdemir, D., & Kiymaz, Y. (2020). Effects of Dynamic Geometry Software on Students’ Geometric Thinking Regarding Probability of Giftedness in Mathematics. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 7(2), 48-61.DOI:

Pryor, J., Akyeampong, K., Westbrook, J., & Lussier, K. (2012). Rethinking teacher preparation and professional development in Africa: An analysis of the curriculum of teacher education in the teaching of early reading and mathematics. Curriculum Journal, 23(4), 409-502.

Smith, M. C. (2011). Which in‐and out‐of‐school factors explain variations in learning across different socio‐economic groups? Findings from South Africa. Comparative Education, 47(1), 79-102.

Ssebyatika1, E., & Awichi, R.O (2020). Modelling Academic Performance Using Attributes of Education Maturity with Multi-Level Composite Indicators: A Case of Wakiso District (Uganda) Primary Schools. East African Journal of Education Studies, 2(1) Print ISSN: 2707-3939|Online ISSN: 2707-3947.

TIMSS (2019). Global Data Set on Education- World Bank Document.

UBOS. (2016). Census 2014 Final Results _ Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Kampala.

Wamala, R., & Seruwagi, G. (2013). Teacher competence and the academic achievement of sixth grade students in Uganda. Journal of International Education Research (JIER), 9(1), 83-90.

Wandera S. N. (2019). Influence of teacher-preparation on pupils’ performance at Kenya certificate of primary examination in English subject in public primary schools. University of Nairobi.

Warsame, A. M. (2023). Analysis of Grade Eight Examination Subjects in the Banadir Region of Somalia. East African Journal of Education Studies, 6(1), 11-21.

Watch-dog (2019). Understanding Open Source Serverless: Platforms Design Considerations and Performance.

Waterman, P. (2011). An Investigation of the Relationship between Organisational Culture and the Performance.

Wilson, S. M., Floden, R. E., & Ferrini-Mundy, J. (2012); Teacher Preparation Research: An insider’s view from the outside. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(3), 190-204.

16 May, 2023
How to Cite
Wafula, A., Oriangi, G., Odama, S., Ofoyuru, D., Ogwang, H., & Ologe, D. (2023). Modelling Academic Performance in Science-Based Subjects in Primary Schools Using Elements of Teacher Preparation in Uganda. East African Journal of Education Studies, 6(2), 25-38.