Get to know

The wider context to students’ performance in PILNA.

Get to know

Three questionnaires (contextual instruments) inform the reporting of PILNA 2021: one each for students, teachers, and school leaders (principals or head teachers). A fourth questionnaire was also given to education system leaders in each country, but the results of these questionnaires are not given in this report.

The information collected allows a deeper understanding of teaching and learning in PILNA countries. It also allows for any links between these factors and students’ PILNA results to be explored.

For example, the questionnaires map students’ early learning history, as attendance at early learning has been shown to improve their learning skills and gives them a head start in primary education.

Other contextual information of interest includes the language of instruction, the family and community support students have throughout their education, and six other factors that are relevant to students’ learning and to the country’s education policy, as presented below.

  1. Early learning opportunities. This includes attendance at an early childhood education centre.
  2. Language at home and school. This includes the language of instruction, test language, mother tongue, language spoken at home and in social settings, and languages for writing and reading.
  3. Family and community support. This includes communication with parents, cultural capital and social capital, parental and family involvement in schooling, home support for study, and descriptive variables regarding types of communities.
  4. Quality of instruction. This includes variables at the student, teacher and school level, such as pedagogical practices, obstacles to learning (lack of nutrition or sleep), academic expectations, assessing and monitoring learning progress, classroom organisation and management, homework, teacher practice, and professional development.
  5. Learning time. This includes factors such as enrolment, attendance, instruction time, and work habits outside school. 
  6. Student home environment. This includes parental education, main source of income and occupation, home facilities and possessions, and educational resources.
  7. School resources. This includes school facilities, classroom facilities, teaching resources, WASH factors, funding sources, school location, travel distance (of students and teachers), school safety and violence, and staff stability and satisfaction.
  8. Student well-being. This includes their mental well-being, social support and levels of disadvantage, school safety and bullying.
  9. Teacher satisfaction. This includes general measures of teacher satisfaction, such as mental well-being, work-life balance, workplace experiences and fulfillment.

The following sections present the findings from these questionnaires and give insights into the experiences and circumstances of learners, teachers, and school leaders who participated in PILNA 2021.