SACMEQ IV Study Fact Sheet

Long title
Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality
Frequency of data collection
Previous cycles
1997, 2002, 2007
  • 2012 2013 (June): framework and instrument development
  • 2013: field test
  • 2013 (September–December): data collection
  • 2017: release of international reports
  • Develop the technical capacities of educational planners and researchers to monitor and evaluate conditions of schooling and the quality of their educational systems in comparison with national and international targets.
  • Employ scientific methods for monitoring and evaluating conditions of schooling.
  • Provide research-based information that can be used by decision-makers to plan for improvements in the quality of education.
Research questions
  • What are the personal and home background characteristics of grade 6 pupils that may have implications for monitoring equity or an impact upon teaching and learning?
  • What are the school context factors experienced by grade 6 pupils that may have an impact upon teaching and learning, or the general functioning of schools?
  • Do grade 6 pupils have sufficient access to classroom materials in order to participate fully in their lessons?
  • Do grade 6 pupils have access to library books and other technology-related sources of information within their schools? If applicable, are pupils allowed to borrow these books and resources?
  • Has the practice of grade 6 pupils receiving extra lessons in school subjects outside school hours become widespread? Are these paid lessons?
  • What are the personal and professional characteristics of grade 6 teachers?
  • Do grade 6 teachers consider in-service training to be effective in improving their teaching?
  • How do grade 6 teachers allocate their time among the responsibilities concerned with teaching, preparing lessons, and marking?
  • What are grade 6 teachers’ viewpoints on frequency of assessment and meeting and communicating with parents?
  • What is the availability of classroom furniture and classroom equipment in grade 6 classrooms?
  • What professional support is given to grade 6 teachers?
  • What are the personal and professional characteristics of school heads?
  • What are the school heads’ viewpoints on general school infrastructure and the condition of their school buildings?
  • What are the school heads’ views on inspections, community input, problems with pupils and teachers?
  • Have material and human resources been allocated in an equitable fashion among the strata?
  • What are the achievement levels and variations (among strata) of grade 6 pupils and their teachers in reading and mathematics?
  • What are the HIV and AIDS knowledge levels of pupils and their teachers?
  • Do pupils, teachers and school heads have positive attitudes towards people infected with HIV and AIDS?
Assessment domain(s)
  • Mathematical literacy/Mathematics/Numeracy
  • Reading/Reading literacy
  • Others: HIV/AIDS and TB knowledge
Study framework (summary)

Reading comprehension

  • Decoding isolated words and sentences
  • Language
    • Reading
    • Extracting explicit information
    • Performing simple inferences
    • Combining and interpreting information


  • Arithmetic
  • Measurement
  • Geometry and space

HIV-AIDS knowledge

  • Definitions and terminology
  • Transmission mechanisms
  • Misconceptions and myths about HIV
  • Detection/prevention/treatment/cure

Tuberculosis knowledge (in South Africa only)

  • Knowledge of TB-related risks
  • Knowledge of measures for prevention of TB
  • Knowledge of signs and treatment of TB


Contextual framework

  • National background
  • Personal and home backgrounds of students
  • School contexts
  • Classroom contexts
  • Personal and professional characteristics of teachers and school heads
Participating entities


14 education systems


Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Target population and sample (summary)

Target population

All learners at grade 6 level in 2013 (as of the first week of the eighth month of the school year) who were attending registered mainstream (primary) schools.



Overall: more than 62,200 pupils, 6,660 teachers, and 2,500 school heads

Data collection techniques and instruments (summary)

Data collection instruments included:

  • School Head Booklet
  • School Information Booklet
  • Teacher Booklet
  • Pupil Booklet
  • Pupil Name Form
  • School Form

Each participating country received print-ready copies from the SEACMEQ Coordinating Centre and was responsible for printing the correct numbers of copies for their respective schools

Study director(s)


Plot 4775 Notwane Road



Tel.: +267 3552055

Fax: +267 3184535