Gender and Context Differences in the Mathematics Computational Skills of Primary School Students in North-Eastern Pakistan


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.