Intersectoral Study on Education and Health

The Intersectoral Study on Education and Health, conducted by the National Education Commission in 2002, was carried out to explore the effect of school and non-school factors on the level of achievement of primary school children in first language and in mathematics after educational reforms in the primary school sector in Sri Lanka. A nationally representative sample of 2731 children attending Grade 5 classes in 2003, in 144 schools in the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka, comprised the study sample. The competency of these children in their first language (Sinhala or Tamil), and in mathematics, was assessed through tests constructed and administered by the National Educational Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC) of the University of Colombo, in March 2003. Survey teams from the Medical Research Institute, Colombo, visited all 144 schools during the period May – September 2003, and physically examined the children to assess health factors that could affect their learning abilities. Earlier studies using the same data assessed the “National assessment of achievement of Grade Four pupils in Sri Lanka: National Report” (Perera et al., 2004) and the “Health for Education: non-school determinants of learning achievement of Grade 4 children in Sri Lanka” (NEC, 2005). The current analysis examines the relationship between children’s learning achievement and the learning environment provided by schools, in the context of their personal and household characteristics.