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Title: Quality and efficiency of Saudi education: an investigation into boys' secondary schools
Author: Al-Jabri, Nayyaf Rasheed
ISNI:       0000 0001 3406 3673
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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This study was conducted to investigate the quality and efficiency of Saudi Education, using three approaches: (1) production function, (2) comparison of outliers and (3) cost analysis, drawing on quantitative and qualitative data collected through two field trips. The main line of inquiry, production function analysis, was based on quantitative data collected during the first field visit to 37 schools (one private urban school, 17 urban public schools and 19 rural public schools) affiliated to one education district, Medina. The outcome variable was student attainment in examinations of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). The sample students were drawn randomly from among the 12th graders in schools (one science-track class; and one arts-track class, if the arts track option was available in the school). Information about teachers, principals and schools was also collected by purposefully designed questionnaires. The second approach, comparison of outliers, was based mainly on qualitative data collected during the second field trip, through interviews with principals, teachers and students from six public schools out of the 37 schools. The value-added analysis of school effects on student attainment (i. e. the effect of attending a particular school after controlling for non-school influences statistically) showed these six schools to be either unusually successful (positive outliers, three schools) or unusually failing (negative outliers, three schools). In the third approach, cost analysis, the per-student cost was estimated and decomposed to its various components. A cost function was fitted, using multiple regression, with the per-student cost as a dependent variable. In the production function analysis, the non-school variables (e. g. parents' education, education of older siblings, attainment level at 9th grade, student age, grade repetition, study time at home, and days of absenteeism) were the main influences on attainment. School-related variables accounted for a smaller proportion of the variance in student attainment, but the overall school value-added effect (shown in quality differences between schools) was notably large. The findings from production function analysis and outlier comparisons suggested rural schools were inferior in quality. School management, mainly the principal, showed notable influence on quality. The physical conditions of the school buildings were better in the positive outliers, but they are influenced by the quality of principals. Good principals could also attract good teachers, and also positively influence teacher commitment and student motivation. Experience, training, concern with the education process, and leadership skills were attributes of the good principals. The existence of adequate management staff was also important. Deputy principals and student counsellors could also play influential roles. Teachers differed remarkably in quality (value-added effects), but the attributes of good teachers could not be identified. Inefficiency was prevalent in the school system, as indicated by the production function and cost analyses. Some of the resource variables (such as teacher experience and student-teacher ratio) showed negative or non-significant effect on attainment in the production function analysis. Indications of inefficiency, however, were clearer in cost analysis, and the student-teacher ratio was the main cause of inefficiency. Improvement recommendations were made in relation to the issues of. recruiting and rewarding teachers; management staffing in schools; improving the quality of rural schools; improving the quality of school buildings; and raising the student-teacher ratio.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available