Gender and Context Differences in the Mathematics Computational Skills of Primary School Students in North-Eastern Pakistan
Keywords:Elementary Education, Gender Gap, School Context, Computational Skills.
The study compared the computational skills of primary school students of both
sexes enrolled in public and private settings in north-eastern Pakistan. A descriptive
quantitative study design was used to collect data. 50 male and 50 female students were
randomly selected from 16 private and public sector schools in Muzaffarabad. Initially, a
2-week systematic observation of fifth-grade mathematics classrooms was done. Later, an
achievement test of all arithmetic operations based on national curriculum grade-specific
math teaching objectives was conducted to assess the gender-wise computational skills of
students. The results indicated that gender and school context attributed significantly to
the students' test scores. Gender is also found to be a significant predictor in the
performance of mathematics computational skills. Male students of grade V from public
schools scored significantly less among three other selected groups. Female students from
the private sector of grade V scored the highest on average compared to all other groups.
Private sector school students scored significantly better compared to public school
students. Future research on students' sense of self-efficacy, socioeconomic status, and
teaching-learning practices at the elementary level can expand arithmetic education
research in Pakistan.