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ERIC Number: EJ1055221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2325-663X
Barriers to Student Success in Madagascar
Wills, Abigail R.; Reuter, Kim E.; Gudiel, Arleen A.; Hessert, Bryan P.; Sewall, Brent J.
Global Education Review, v1 n4 p114-134 2014
Various indicators suggest that math and science students in many developing countries are lagging behind their counterparts in other nations. Using Madagascar as a case study, we aimed to: (1) evaluate the effectiveness of education among those enrolled in science and math programs at primary, secondary, and university institutions; and, (2) understand barriers to student progression through the education system. To that end we conducted 63 semi-structured interviews in June and August 2012 with science and math teachers in five population centers, across all three levels of both public and private school systems. We found that crowded classes, limited resources (pedagogical and infrastructural), an average student range in age of seven years per classroom (suggestive of grade repetition and/or late school starting age), and discontinuities in the language of instruction explain why teachers estimated that almost 25 percent of their students would not finish school. Although most secondary and university teachers taught the sciences only in French, they estimated that just one-third of students could fully understand the language. There were also urban-rural and publicprivate disparities. Teachers in urban areas were significantly more likely to teach using French than their rural counterparts, while public schools also housed significantly larger classes than private institutions. While resource equalization will help to resolve many of these disparities, improved early training in French and increased local autonomy in designing appropriate curricula will be necessary to tackle other shortfalls.
Mercy College New York. 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522. Tel: 914-674-7350; Fax: 914-674-7351; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Madagascar
Grant or Contract Numbers: DGE-1144462; DEB- 1257916