Primary education and literacy levels among women with low educational attainment in Zambia: Analysis of secondary data


Brian Mumba


Introduction: Primary education in Zambia remains the key determiner of literacy. However, there is little research on the relationship between primary education and literacy levels, independent from higher levels of formal education. This association is imperative, as primary education completion is the primary estimator of literacy in many developing countries.

Purpose: The paper assessed the relationship between primary education and literacy levels among women of low educational attainment in Zambia.

Methods: The study was interested in the women participants who responded to literacy questions during 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey. This paper assessed the relationship between primary education and literacy, using the 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey dataset. Given the study focus, the researcher restricted the analysis to a total sample of 6171 women respondents who had received at most a primary school level of education out of the total samples of 9959 women. Pearson’s X^2 test and logistic regression analysis were the techniques for analysis.

Findings: There was a significant association between education level and whether or not women were literate X^2 (1) = 544.69, p < .000. Based on the odds ratio for the un-adjusted model, primary education level was indeed associated with literacy with an increase in odds of being literate (31.49 (20.37 - 48.69) times higher than for women with no formal education).

Recommendations: The study recommended further research using mixed methods to confirm various associations that have been observed in the study.



How to Cite
Mumba, B. (2020). Primary education and literacy levels among women with low educational attainment in Zambia: Analysis of secondary data. Journal of Educational Research in Developing Areas, 1(1), 40-49.


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