Primary School Students in Bale Zone

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2014

79 Pages

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1.1. Background of the Study
1.2. Statement of the Problem
1.3. Research Questions
1.4. Objectives of the Study
1.4.1. General objective
1.4.2. Specific objectives
1.5. Significance of the Study
1.6. Delimitation of the Study
1.7. Limitation of the Study
1.8. Definitions of Key Terms

2.1. Automatic Promotion Policy of Students
2.2. Automatic Promotion and Retention of Students
2.3. Repetition and its Effects
2.4. Parents Views of Automatic Promotion policy practices
2.5. Teachers Views of Automatic Promotion policy practices of Students
2.6. Leaders of Education View about Automatic Promotion policy practices
2.7 Factors Affecting Automatic Promotion Practices
2.8. The School System in Brazil and Automatic Promotion Policy practices
2.9. Strategies on Handling Automatic Promotion Practices

3.1. Research Design
3.2. Source of Data
3.2.1. Primary sources
3.2.2. Secondary source
3.3. Sample Size and Sampling Techniques
3.3.1. Sample size
3.3.2. Sampling Techniques
3.4. Data Gathering Tools
3.4.1 Questionnaire
3.4.2 Interview
3.4.3. Focus Group Discussion
3.4.4. Document Analysis
3.5. Method of Data Analysis

4.1. Distributed and Returned Questionnaires
4.2. Characteristics of Respondents
4.3. Analysis and Interpretation of Data
4.4. Grade Retention and Automatic promotion of students
4.5. Students Dropout and Retention in Sample Districts
4.6. Implication of Education Stakeholders to Automatic Promotion
4.7. Different Education Inputs in Sample Districts
4.8. School Facilities Impact on Students Learning
4.9. Challenges of Automatic Promotion policy practices
4.10 Promotion Criteria of Students in the First Cycle
4.11. Types of Support Provided for Students
4.12. Availability of Training and Workshops

5.1. Summary
5.2. Conclusions
5.3 Recommendations


7.1 Appendix I
7.2 Appendix II
7.3. Appendix III


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten



The effective Assessment of automatic promotion practice requires complementary and more systematic changes in the schools. This study was designed to assess automatic promotion in light of these requirements. The study conducted to answer some basic questions what are the statuses of automatic promotion policy practices? What are the views of stakeholders of education about automatic promotion? What are the problems related to automatic promotion practices? What remedial measures can be taken to overcome the challenges? Depending the above research questions The study was conducted in 25 schools as sources of information from the four Districts of Bale zone oromia Region, 230 teachers of the grades 1-3, 30 principals and 9 District Education experts and 5 CRC supervisors, 105 PTA members were taken as sources of information. The design of study used descriptive survey both quantitative and qualit ative method the data was collected through questionnaires, interview, document, focus group discussion. The data obtained were analyzed mainly using percentage, chi-square and qualitative presentation in addition purposive sampling and simple random sampling techniques used.

The results of the study reveals that the awareness of teachers about the reasons behind the introduction of automatic promotion in the schools, and about the different alternative strategies other than retention and automatic promotion in dealing with low-performing students. Teachers seem to know all the implications of automatic promotion in their teaching practices. But, in practice, teachers ‘utilization of continuous assessment and implementing mechanisms of automatic promotion is poor. They are also poor in applying different corrective measures to help low-performing students individually. The main criterion that is used in the schools to make promotion-retention decisions is continuous Assessment. It is necessary to provide schools with relevant publications on the issue of retention versus automatic promotion, different mechanisms of continuous Assessment and encourage teachers to conduct action research in their respective schools. It is also important to provide teachers with continuous assessment and promotion guides, well-developed and observational techniques and alternative materials. The involvement of parents in their children’s learning and further strengthening of the existing Automatic promotion of students set up are also recommended. Finally, it is advisable to improve teachers’ awareness and skill about all the implications of automatic promotion through in-service courses, seminars, conferences, workshops and field-trips.


This unit consists of background of the study, statement of the problem; research question of the study, objective of the study, significance of the study, delimitation and limitation of the study will be discussed in this unit.

1.1. Background of the Study

Education is the most powerful instruments to overcome poverty and associated problems. Indee­d it is an essential and individual power to reflect, make choice, seek voice in a society and enjoy a better life (World Bank, 2002). Particularly, primary education develops the capacity to learn to read and use Mathematics to acquire information and to think critically about that information. EFA Global monitoring report indicates that improving the quality of primary education by decreasing the number of repeaters and dropouts for the universalizing of education for all (UNESCO, 2009). It is of crucial importance that all children and young people have access to education. However, it is equally important /that they are able to take full part in school life and achieve desired outcomes from their education experiences. While subject-based academic performance is often used as an indicator of learning outcomes, ‘learning achievement’ needs to be conceived more broadly as the acquisition of the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills required to meet the challenges of contemporary societies (UNESCO, 2008).

Many developing countries, including Ethiopia, grade repeaters and dropouts are becoming obstacles in the effort to universalize primary education as intended (UNESCO, 1998; Torres, 1995). Repeating a grade means utilizing more resources than allocated to a student and leaving a school before completing a particular cycle of education. This is also wastage of resources. In both cases, the meager resources allocated for education and time will be wasted and underutilized. A study by UNESCO (1998), report proved that 16% of the resources allocated to education each year in developing countries wasted due to repeaters and dropouts from grade 1 through grade 4. In addition to this, pupils who leave the system prematurely and regularly will become functionally illiterate and discourage others from entering school (UNESCO, 1986).

In Ethiopia, before 1994, about one third of students enrolled in the first grade each year repeat (MoE, 1994). One of the reforms made to address the issue of repeating and dropouts in Ethiopia primary schools is the introduction of automatic promotion policy from grade one to grade three (MoE, 1998). This done with the assumption, that the students are much more likely to complete primary school education. If they manage to complete the first few years, it was also believed that automatic promotion reduces the problem of repeating and dropout rates with little or no additional costs (MoE, 1996).The main goal of primary education is to offer basic and general education to pupils in order to prepare for further to understand their environment (UNESCO, 2001).

Schools practice grade repeating as a remedy to academic failure. Teachers, school principals and even parents believe that repeating the same (for one or more years) will ensure learning by providing more time with non-mastered skills to repeaters (Torres, 1995 and Smith and Shepard, 1987). However, most studies so far conducted have disapproved this assumption. Researchers indicated that, even though retained they did worse than similar students who did not repeat subsequent years (Holmes et al., 1994 and Willson and Ramsey 1999). In general early grade repetition affects the entry point of the school system, where essential foundation for future learning self-esteem and self-confidence are established (Torres, 1995).

Generally, repetition affects efficiency that it ties up school resources that allocated to reaching non-schools. This means that repetition causes educational wastage and becomes obstacle in the universalizing of primary education. Therefore, the solution to practice automatic promotion in primary first cycles schools. Automatic promotion implies that the schools and teachers must assess each pupil’s learning abilities and take appropriate remedial measures on a continuous basis (Hussen, 2002). Teacher, parents and principals after the implementation of automatic promotion since 1997/98 raise many questions. In other way the view of this stakeholders regarding the performance of students after the implementation of automatic promotion was different, the challenges of automatic promotion and the practice of implementing the policies forces the researcher to asses automatic promotion in first cycle primary school of Bale Zone Oromia Regional State.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Education sector development program is a long term plan initiated to help the government’s long term human development and poverty eradication targets and to address the problem of fragment intervention. It is an extensive undertaking which derives its objectives in the context of Ethiopia according to MoE (2005). ESDPI is series of medium term programmatic action plan for the implementation in1994. Education and Training Policy (ETP) and it is twenty–year in rural and underserved areas.

Education sector indicative plan design: to improve educational quality, relevance, efficiency, equity, expansion and access to education with special emphasis on the primary education. One of the objectives of ESDP-I was increasing the primary efficiency of students in schools by reducing the repeating and dropouts of the first five year. ESDPII goal was expanding access and coverage of primary education with equity and improved quality MOE (2002), whereas the goal of ESDPIII was increase access to educational opportunities at primary level to achieve UPE by the year 2015 MOE (2005). However, in practicing automatic promotion many challenges faced the repetition rates and dropout was some of the challenges. For instance since 2011/2012 in Bale Zone were 9.2%; similarly, the dropouts were 12.8% in 2011/2012

Even automatic promotion was introduced repeaters and dropouts with other problems reported. Grade one high number of students repeated and dropout as the report of region indicates. For example, the repetition rates in consecutive year 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 were 8.7%, 9.6%, 6.2% and 10.2%. Also first grade dropouts were 11.3% and 12.1% in year 2011 and 2012, respectively. The repetition and dropout rates reported and low achievers were seen while practicing automatic promotion in the first cycle of primary education the problems still now. In first cycle schools research related to automatic promotion policy practice of students is not conducted with challenges and remedial measures, but one study on Practices of Automatic promotion in first –cycle of West Gojam was conducted by Dereje (2003) and another study which conduct by NoE (2000) the National Baseline Assessment study mainly focuses at the result achieved in reading environmental science of grade four students. The past study touches the policy and assessment method of student in the classroom, but the views of different stakeholders of education not touched. In addition, due to geographical difference of research site the researcher interested to assess Automatic Promotion policy practice in primary first cycle schools in Bale zone. So this research will fill the gap of the past research finding for these two reasons. Therefore, the above main problems lead to questions. Automatic promotion policy practice is implemented with its entire advantages or disadvantages? So studying of automatic promotion policy practice of students in Bale Zone first cycle primary schools seems timely.

1.3. Research Questions

The research focuses on answering the following basic questions.

1. What are statuses of automatic promotion policy practices in the first cycle schools of Bale Zone?
2. What are the views of teachers, principals, experts and parents towards students’ automatic Promotion policy practices in first cycle primary schools?
3. What are the problems related to automatic promotion policy practices of the first cycle primary Schools?
4. What remedial measures can be taken to overcome the challenges of automatic promotion policy practices in the first cycle primary schools in Bale Zone?

1.4. Objectives of the Study

1.4.1. General objective

The general objective of the study is to assess the status of automatic promotion policy practices in primary first cycle schools of Bale zone.

1.4.2. Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the study

1. To assess the status of automatic promotion policy practices of first cycle primary schools of Bale Zone.
2. To determine automatic promotion policy practices views of different stakeholders of schools like parents teachers and leaders in Bale Zone,
3. To identify problem related to the automatic promotion practices in first cycle primary schools in Bale Zone.
4. Determine remedial measures can be taken to overcome the challenges of automatic promotion policy practices in the first cycle primary schools in Bale Zone.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study may significant for the following reasons: Providing an overview of automatic promotion polices practices in first cycle primary schools and helps to create awareness of the practices among different stakeholders like policy makers, experts of education, management organs and others by providing true image of it. Suggest recommendation to solve at least some of the main challenges which affect the implementation of automatic promotion policy practices of first cycle primary education to policy makers. As spring board for those interested researchers by giving an oversight of the policy practices of automatic promotion on similar and other related topics in wider sense. NGO’s those works in education areas by showing its practices of implementation.

1.6 Delimitation of the Study

The study delimited to four sample districts of Bale Zone and attempted to assess automatic promotion in first cycle primary schools because of the reasons below:

Automatic promotion assessment is broad in its implementation and needs extensive time and budget, especially for Bale Zone, which is highly broader in geographical area and primary school distribution and delimited with the sample area. The study areas focus at high land districts in case of accessibility of transportation.

1.7. Limitation of the Study

It is true that research work cannot be totally free from limitation. Some limitations were also faced during this study. One limitation was that most of primary school principals, vice principals, teachers and District education experts, CRC supervisors were busy and would not have enough time to respond to questionnaires and interview. Many of the PTA members are not willing for the focus group discussion. Some of them who had enough time were also reluctant to fill in and return the questionnaire as per the required time. Another limitation was lack of recent and relevant literature on the topic, especially about Automatic promotion guide on Ethiopian condition. There is acute shortage of books or lack of updated related literature in the area. In spite of these short comings, however, it was attempted to make the study as complete as possible. To minimize these limitations the researcher was arranged appropriate time schedule for data gathering for all the respondents specially, using school principals for collecting questionnaire from the respondents, to minimize shortage of literature the researcher was used internet access.

1.8. Definitions of Key Terms

Access: refers to how much the eligible school age children are in appropriate grade or in appropriate level of schooling (UNESCO, 2009).

Attitude: attitude refers to the teacher’s beliefs, feelings, and commitments in practicing automatic promotion (oxford 8th.ed).

Automatic promotion: is a practice in first-cycle of primary schools which is advancing of pupils from one grade to the next higher grade at the end of the school year regardless of the educational attainment of the pupils (UNESCO, 2008).

Basic Education: refers to education intended to meet basic learning needs, it encompasses and early childhood and primary education (UNEFA, 1990).

Grade repetition/retention: refers when pupils are given an additional year to repeat a grade to go over the same academic content, often taught the same way, that they failed to master the previous year (UNESCO, 2009).

Internal Efficiency: refers to efficient utilization of resources to avoid wastage in the form of drop out and repetition (MoE, 2010).

Primary Education: In Ethiopia context, primary education is defined as education in grade 1-8 in two cycles 1st cycle grade (1-4) and 2nd cycle grade (5-8) (MoE, 2010).

Quality Education: is education system which consist relevant inputs, pertinent process and competent outputs, provision of education facilities, qualified teachers and students performance (UNESCO, 2005).

Retention: when a student is not doing the level of work that indicates the student should be promoted to the next grade, based on the recommendation of the Intervention Assistance Team.).

Universal Primary Education: (UPE) means that all children of primary school age participate in the school system and complete primary school (UNESCO, 2005).


This section contains empirical and theoretical views about automatic promotion policy practices of first cycle primary schools, automatic promotion policy practices retention of students, repetition and its effects to education, different stakeholders Views related to automatic promotion discussed in this section.

2.1. Automatic Promotion Policy of Students

Students experienced neither promotion nor retention but rather a solitary form of forward movement. With the arrival of universal public education Students promotion, suddenly become an important social issue. The result of the graded structure imposed on the new common school system at the time of their funding. According to Labree (1984) grading was a response to two forms of pressure exerted on the new school systems organizational and cultural. Organizationally, the sharp rise of number of students put the common school under intense pressure to develop a system of instruction, which was physically, socially and pedagogically efficient. Culturally the new schools were under pressure to embody and to transmit values particularly belief that rewards are allocates according to individual ability and effort that are earned.

The education sector’s vision is “to see all school-age children get access to quality primary education by the year 2015 and realize the creation of trained and skilled human power at all levels who will be driving forces in the promotion of democracy and development in the country”. The mission of the education sector is to: Extend quality and relevant primary education to all school-age children and expand standardized education and training programs at all levels to bring about rapid and sustainable development with increased involvement of different stakeholders (MoE, 2010/2011).

The ideal case for educational efficiency has always been to move entire classes through the grade levels like an assembly line with the age-cohort or the individual with no rejects (Labree, 1984; Smith and Shepard, 1994). As the truth of learning promotion implies that students have widely varied capacities for learning either because of differences in innate ability or differences in motivation schools are seen as trying to select the most able and willing students in order to proper them into higher forms of education while teaching the less capable students at less advanced levels. This conflict between organizational efficiency and merit values between the goals of group learning and the goal of individual selection has been a source of controversy from the time of the first graded schools to the present days.

Now a day’s promotional policy become more controversial when it comes to dealing with low-performing and low achieving students in a given grade. To ensure the realization of Universal Primary Education (UPE), the Government will make every effort to provide financial, human and material resources. However, it is apparent that the Government’s resources will not be sufficient. Expanding educational opportunities will there for require the partnership of a wide range of domestic and international partners. The program assumes an increased role of communities’ in constructing low cost schools and classrooms. Similarly, increased participation of local and international partners and the private sector will have a significant role to play in contributing to expanding access to primary education services to children and keep quality by providing materials (MoE, 2007).

2.2. Automatic Promotion and Retention of Students

Automatic promotion and retention have seen as opposite ends of a continuum of approaches to students having difficulty making progress in the school (Johnson, 1984). Promotion policies changes from one extreme to another. The experience has swung back and forth, as the educational community and public have tried to determine which practice is accurate response to low achievers. Teachers’ views regarding the efficacy of grade retention are generally based on short-term. Teachers usually only know of student achievement in the immediate years following retention. They often have limited knowledge of the long-term student trajectories after retention. Since many retained children make some progress the second year, retention may appear effective to educator (Karland, 2003).

Automatic promotion considered as the most beneficial to children. At this time, rigid promotional standards see as punitive (Cunnigham and Owens, 1979). It believed that promotion by ability expose children to mental stress at an early age. This causes psychological damage. This damage becomes more pronounced when those children who do not achieve the minimum requirements in a given grade usually determined by standardized test are forced to repeat the grade (Shepard and Smith, 1986; Holmes and Mathew, 1984). Consequently these students may develop negative attitude towards school and they are more likely to drop out of school (Roderick, 1993). As the result of the above theoretical assumption, most examination required for promotion in the different grades are abandoned and promotional standards become more relaxed. This relaxation of promotional standards is justified by three arguments. First educator argued schooling should structure around the learning needs and abilities of the great bulky of its students rather than the selection and development of most able.

Willms (2000) school should give all students equal access to a high quality education experience According to these educators, the function of school is to furnish an elementary education to maximum number of children. Other things being equal a schools best when it is regularly promotes and finally graduates the largest percentage of its pupils. More over advocates of automatic promotion asserted that schools should not only adapt themselves to the academic abilities, but also to the broader social needs of the average students (Dewey, cited in Labree, 1984). In practice this means a shift from curriculum-centered school, with its exclusive focus on intellectual development to a child centered school, which included concern for the social and emotional development of the student. It is argued that child who is well adjusted socially or emotionally will achieve better than the child who is maladjusted (Cunningham and Owens, 1979).

Second educators argued that a zealous policy of non-promotion seriously impaired the organizational efficiency of the school (Smith and Shepard, 1994; UNESCO, 1998). Cost effectiveness is an important goal of any school, and from this perspective extension, repetitions reflected in a large pool of over age students appear wasteful indeed. Third, educators did not entirety abandon a concern for merit, but they know sought to foster academic achievements not by means of high standards and frequent retentions but by instituting a system of tracking (Labaree, 1984 ). Schools can develop what they call differentiated curricula, for example, academic, commercial, manual and training, etc. Special education classes and ability grouping is also used by applying intelligent testing standardized tests are used as a factor in the process of placing a student within the appropriate track, rather than as a promotional standard.

The advocates of merit promotion, on the other hand, oppose the practice of automatic promotion for its less emphasis to students’ achievement. They take the decline in students’ scores on standardized achievement tests in those schools where automatic promotion is practiced (Ebel, 1980). Why they ask should schools be advancing students to the next grades who have not yet mastered the skills taught in their current grade. They assert that something is clearly wrong with the structure of schooling when high schools graduate functional illiterates. Automatic promotion is blame for much of this deficiency in achievement, for the following reasons (Ebel, 1980; Labaree, 1984, Clarizio, et al., 1994).Within a school system, a policy of automatic promotion appears symbolic of general lack of commitment to students’ achievement. Promoting students who have not mastered the material for their grade level perceived as a form of dishonest. Schools are occurred of rewarding students for lack of accomplishment which not inspires in them an inflated sense of their own capabilities and teaches them that one can indeed get something for nothing. Promoting students according to age rather than demonstrated achievement, opponents of the policy content, ignores the significant difference in abilities and application that mark students with in a particular age group.

Automatic promotion sees students as broad similar in learning capacity and thus seeks to deal with them collectively, but critics charge that students’ abilities are distributed approximately along a normal curve, which means that schools must make individual discrimination among them. Automatic promotion sees as a prime example of a more general problem with in the schools. Promoting the unqualified school students adjusting their curriculum and instruction to the needs and wishes of the students, In fact, students should be adapting to schools standards. Critics understanding it as the function of school to load students, not follow them, they see other examples of this trend particularly in the propagation of electives in place of a more rigorous academic courses and in the relaxation of discipline (Torres, 1995).

Improving efficiency entails reducing dropout and repetition rates and thereby increasing survival and completion rates. Reducing high rates of repetition implies improvements in the learning achievements of pupils and a more efficient use of scarce resources, which would be wasted otherwise. Reducing repetition rates also frees the school places for new pupils, thus making way for a substantial increase in enrolments. Improving the learning achievement of pupils will also result in success in examinations, which implies a reduction in the level of dropout that may be caused to failure in examinations. This clearly shows that improving the quality of education has a key role to play in enhancing the internal efficiency of the system. Therefore, the following are envisaged to improve the quality of education and thereby the internal efficiency of the system (MoE, 2004/2005).If a student fails to meet these standards in a given grade, she/he needs to repeat the grade. The advocates of merit promotion try to justify the link between repetition and academic achievements of under achieving students using different theoretical assumptions. These assumptions include fear of retention; such a policy may turn out to have a significance effect in motivating a student to achieve and in motivating the students, parents and teachers to help such achievement. Merit promotions encourage students to look over their shoulders to the possibility of retention. This negatives motivation influence low achieving students who are likely to respond to the stimulus since they are the population at risk of retention. In particular, the students most likely to spur into action by a merit promotion policy are those receiving a midyear latter announcing that retention will occur performance improve (MoE, 2010).

Several implications of this motivational system should make an administrator cautions first, retention is only effective as a motivating device for students to the extent that they find it distasteful. Reasons for this distaste include that unhappiness at being separate from classmates and the same at labeled low. If students feel in this way, anticipation of retention is not possible that being compelled to experience retention might have harmful affection their personal adjustment. Of course, proponents of retention policies argue that the policy is not in fact punitive but remedial. If retention is a strong motivating device, then retention are likely to be fewer. However, the students retained are more likely to experience it as punishment. If retention is a weak motivating device, the effect on the student is likely to be remedial than punitive, but the number retained is likely to be large. No school system wants to make retention unpleasant simply to scare students into passing (Ebel, 1980; Labire, 1984; Clarizo et al., 1994).

Second, while the fear of retention may motivate the low achieving student. It is likely to have little or no effect on the average or superior students whose scores are comfortably within the passing range. Therefore, this is not a strategy aimed at raising the minimum level of all students.

Third, the focus on motivation assumes that the problem of under achievement derives from lack of incentive. To the extent that poor test scores are the result of such factors as class background, racial dissemination family conditions and test invalidity the student. The news that a child is in danger of failing is likely to have an effect on most parents but the way in which this effect transmitted to the child may vary considerably. Parents who interpret the problem as disciplinary may be more likely to punish the students. At home or at school, merit promotion possess a choice between remediation and punishment.

Advocates of rigid promotional standards in school recommend repetition for those students who do not meet the standards. This policy of repetition based on the assumption that repeating the same grade (for one, two or more years) will insure teaching (Torres, 1995). Pedagogically, this means that the student that did not learn or did not learn enough will learn. If he or she take the same road again, that nothing was learned along the process and it is thus necessary to start from the beginning once again. That knowledge and learning operate in a linear dimension follow fixed routes and derive from cyclic repeating and drilling but critics argue that there is no guarantee that the same road that made the child fail will help him/her perform better. They also criticize that the social and psychological child repeated that grade is usually harmful to the children (Roderick, 1993). Generally issues related to the curriculum and the schools system strongly surfaced. There was unanimity among teachers’, students and parents about the complexity of the curriculum for students and teachers alike, teachers filling ill equipped, mismatch time content empirically of self-contained class bare advantage of continuous assessment and discouraging influence of free promotion of student from one grade to the other (UNESCO, 2006).

2.3. Repetition and its Effects

Grade repetition sometimes referred as grade retention occurs when students held in the same grade for an extra year rather than being promoted to a higher grade along with their age peers. In some schools, systems grade repetition seen as a valid corrective action that should be taken in cares of academic failure. In other school, systems grade repetition not permitted, and instead the policy for all pupils is in social promotion. Where by students pass automatically to the next grade with their peers and if required, receive remedial academic assistance. The implementation and effects of grade repetition has extra costs (UNESCO, 1991). This analysis commences with an examination of the three major reasons for the decision to repeat and the sources of that decision (students, families and schools). The reason for applying grade repetition often differs across developed and developing countries.

Although the repetition rate is improving, the dropout rates remain high especially in Grade one. Unless dropout and repetition rates are brought down and internal efficiency is improved, the nation cannot achieve universal primary education by 2015. Low internal efficiency entails the wasting of very scarce resources. The quantity and quality of critical inputs such as teachers, textbooks, classroom etc., must be improved in order to improve the internal efficiency of the education system (UNESCO, 2006).The effects of grade repetition among three dimensions as:

The effects of academic achievement, where research has indicated short term gains along term problems because grade repeaters eventually fall further behind.

The effects of students’ self-esteem, peer relationships, and attitudes towards schools with negative outcomes in these areas leading to increased risks of dropping out and repeating of students.

The effects on school operation, where by high levels of grade repetition can lead to increased class sizes and classroom management problems (Due to large age differences among pupils in the same classroom).

The application of grade repetition brings extra costs and long term negative academic and social consequences. Grade repetition versus “Social Promotion” the strategy should prefer automatic promotion (UNESCO, 2006). Each year about 22 percent of primary students and 21 percent of secondary students were repeating their grade. The North African and Middle Eastern countries average about 12 percent for the primary grade students repetition represents in efficiency and wastage of resources for society grade repetition has been analyzed both as a macro level societal problem /in directing in effective use of resources/ and as a micro level individual option/ occurring for one of the Promotion grade, regardless reasons described in previous section.

Some countries and school systems, adopt automatic promotion policies, which mandate that all students; who complete a given school year promoted to the next of their levels of achievement. However people who believe that it lowers school often oppose automatic promotion and student achievement. They want to allow or even to require schools to retain in grade all students who fail to meet specified promotion criteria. Grade repetition is more common in developing countries than in developed countries and is especially common in rural areas (Jackson, 1975).

Teacher in developing countries are ordinarily are not trained to more promotion/repetition decisions and do not have access to detailed achievement standards and aligned assessment instruments. So concerns have been expressed that many decisions may be based on arbitrary observations or beliefs rather than justified criteria (MoE, 2005). Continuous assessment is essential to improve the quality of learning and the internal efficiency of the education system. It helps teachers to quickly identify weaknesses in the abilities of their pupils and provide the necessary support. The education and training policy envisages that assessment at all levels of education and training be made using continuous assessment. Although this policy direction is important to all levels, the enforcement of the continuous assessment strategy will serve as a typical instrument to improve lower grade repetition and promotion recommend schools to raise their standards for promotion from one grade to the next.

2.4. Parents Views of Automatic Promotion policy practices

Successful achievement leads to feeling of satisfaction and generates increased effort for getting something better is a human tendency. On the contrary performing low or below average is dissatisfying which results in decreased effort on the part of the individual parent of student. With this connection parents who their students perform below achievement emotionally disturbed and they blame the automatic promotion of student of grade 1-3 strongly. Aklilu (1998) said it is not surprising that students who do not perform well in school seek to leave the school. Many parent of student do not give concern for the low achievement of their student; instead decide to refuse of automatic promotion.

Communities and PTAs are playing important roles in all aspects of education from generating resources to managing schools. Resources are mobilized for purchasing basic equipment and materials, hiring contract teachers, and building classrooms and schools. PTAs are active in raising the awareness of the general community on the benefits of education and in encouraging parents to send their children to school so as to increase access and reduce dropout. PTAs are involved in school management, preparing annual plans and follow-up disciplinary cases. Hence, communities are funding new school buildings, building teachers’ houses, running non-formal education initiatives, and encouraging girls to go to school and be retained in school until they complete a given level of education. However, PTAs and communities still need further capacity enhancement in order to enable them to carry out the quality of support that schools need to help them functions each stakeholder in the education sector. It also highlights each stakeholder’s accountability to each level. As a result, the last two years have shown an unprecedented community turn-out, not only in raising funds and constructing classrooms, but also in owning and managing the development of education in their respective communities. Education and training boards and PTA’s have become instrumental in lowering dropout and repetition rates and restoring good discipline in schools (MoE, 2011).

2.5. Teachers Views of Automatic Promotion policy practices of Students

The number of students in a classroom affects the level of student achievement (MoE, 2004). The number of students should be optimum because Students in a large class receive minimal attention by the teacher, so they will perform poor. Large class teachers will have little time to communicate with individual students and serve special needs and will have problems with managing. Ratio is one of the efficiency indicators (MoE, 2004). A lower ratio in comparison to the national standard means underutilization of resources a higher ratio indicates, overcrowdings and less interaction between teacher and student (MoE, 2004). The target set for pupil (student-section ratio) for primary as ESDP-II is sixty. However in 1999 were 69 even in the year 2011 the ratio was more than that of described the policy formulated in most governmental schools. The lower the PTR is higher the opportunity of contact between teachers and pupils to check homework and class work as well as provide support to student individually becomes difficult. However the reality is opposite to these in past four to three years the number of student were increase because of this the teacher pupil ratio is above the standard means in primary first cycle 1:55, so in the implantation of the policy there is gap (Lisan, 2004).

2.6. Leaders of Education View about Automatic Promotion policy practices

Leaders in education are a matter of guiding community (students, teacher, and parents) to realize the policy for them. There are many priorities for leaders to convince of the policy formulated for different stake holders of education in the correct line, but leaders at different level proclaim the advantage of automatic promotion in first primary schools. The implementers of the policy don’t have adequate knowledge about how to implement, the pre-conditions, methods of supporting students at different understanding level and methods of assessment couldn’t get attention (Bath, 2001).

One of the most consistent findings from studies of effective school leadership is that authority to lead need not be located in the person of the leader but can be dispersed within the school between and among people. There is a growing understanding that leadership is embedded in various organizational contexts within school communities, not centrally vested in a person or an office. The real challenge facing most schools is no longer how to improve but, more importantly, how to sustain improvement. Sustainability will depend upon the school’s internal capacity to maintain and support developmental work and sustaining improvement requires the leadership capability of the many rather than the few (Olsen, 2002). According to UNESCO (2007) to attain progress in achievement of Education for All, Lesotho is the only country that has the highest chance of achieving universal primary education by 2015. In regarding to achieving the goals the roles of school leaders is not replaced by any other else if school leaders cooperate and effectively work with teachers, PTAs and students, as well as with all stake holders, meaningful change may registered by practicing of automatic promotion policy (MoE, 2002).

2.7 Factors Affecting Automatic Promotion Practices

Many study shows problems related to automatic promotion practices were numerous. According to Dufour (1994) reform has never been to the satisfaction of public during the reform undertaking, certain problems have been encounters, especially by the existing situation on the ground did not match the plans and the policy formulated. It has been found that there are clear inadequacies in the major educational inputs such as the provision of training for stakeholders, Shortage of text books and school facilities affect the implementation of reforms. In Ethiopia starting from the very beginning of modern education there are a constant series of change in the country education in general and primary education in particular Dereje (1998). Many primary schools in Ethiopia has insufficient numbers of text books, in appropriate numbers of class size, teachers and student ratio during the implementation of the automatic promotion policy in primary first cycle schools. These days also the problems were not solved fully.

Key factors identified in the NLA’s relating to student achievement include school organization and management, teacher training on new techniques, school supplies, availability of curricular and instructional materials, and language of instruction. All these imply that students are not equipped with the necessary numeracy, literacy and life skill at primary schools, and that there is a considerable challenge to meet the quality and standard of education at the primary level in Ethiopia. There is, therefore, a need to investigate contributing factors for the decline of quality of primary education in the country taking into consideration teachers’ qualification and their years of professional experience; perceptions of teachers, students, and leadership (at school, woreda and zonal levels); factors related to learning resources and environment; factors related to teaching methods and curricula; factors related to school leadership and management; factors related to external environment; and strategies to address the problems affecting quality of education in the country.

Study on Early Grade Reading and Writing was conducted by IQPEP, USAID Ethiopia (2010). The research findings suggest that there are poor reading and writing skills in all three grade levels and in almost all regions. Although students in grades 1-3 have been exposed to the three early grade reading curricular themes (reading letters, reading words, and reading and comprehending simple sentences and phrases), their proficiency level in these themes is unsatisfactory. In many cases, the distinctions among the three grade levels seem to be blurred. the lack of a minimum standard that distinguishes one grade level from the other (for instance, grade 3 from grade It is believed that quality of education in schools is influenced by many factors related to teachers, students, curriculum, teaching methods and assessment, resources, learning environment and leadership. Teachers claim that lack of professional support, lack of incentives and low salary for teachers as well as lack of student’s interest for learning are major factors that influence quality of education in schools. Similarly, lack of incentives and low salary for teachers are rated as major contributing factors for the decline of quality. The influence of teachers’ low level of motivation and lack of qualified teachers on quality is rated as moderate by both teachers and students (UNESCO 2009).

2.8. The School System in Brazil and Automatic Promotion Policy practices

Primary school is compulsory in Brazil for children between the ages of 7 to 14 and consists of eight years of schooling (MEC 1996).9 Public schooling is free at all ages and enrolment in primary and secondary school is open to students of all ages. The Brazilian educational system has undergone substantial changes during the last two decades and has achieved considerable progress in expanding access to education. Starting from a primary school net enrolment rate of only 85% in 1991, Brazil achieves today almost universal primary school enrolment with a net rate of 95% (UNESCO 2009). Primary school completion and youth literacy rates have improved notably, but the country continues to suffer from high repetition and drop-out rates. Besides the conventional annual grade repetition regime the option of automatic promotion was introduced, a system in which students progress automatically to the next grade at the end of the school year. Between these two extremes, a mixture of both regimes was also permitted. In the mixed regime, schools define “learning cycles” that stretch over several – most commonly three - school years. During the initial years of the cycle students are promoted automatically. In the final year of a cycle students that do not meet the minimum requirements set in the curriculum are retained. The idea behind these learning cycles is to allow students an individual studying pace (Mainardes 2004).

If students’ fall the introduction of automatic promotion removes the incentive previously linked to the threat of retention and I use exogenous variation in the implementation of the policy over time in state primary schools in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais to obtain causal estimates of the disincentive effect from the introduction of automatic promotion measured by the impact on standardized math test scores. Another potential source for a compositional change is related to the possibility of students to change their school. Parents expecting a negative effect of automatic promotion on their children may want to move their children to a school the introduction of automatic promotion has an effect on drop-out rates in grades prior to 4th grade, this may change unobserved student characteristics that cannot be controlled for (Corman, 2003).


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Primary School Students in Bale Zone
Haramaya University
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primary, school, students, bale, zone
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Asheber Demie (Author), 2014, Primary School Students in Bale Zone, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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