The Gambia Early Grade Reading Assessment EGRA Programme

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OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION. EGRA initiative (How it all started in The Gambia)Description of sample/group, time and processSummary of resultsFollow-up ActionsConclusion and Lessons Learnt. EGRA in The Gambia . Started in The Gambia in May 200740 schools selected using a stratified random samplin

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The Gambia Early Grade Reading Assessment EGRA Programme

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1. The Gambia Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) Programme Presented by Baboucarr Bouy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education The Gambia Copenhagen 21st April 2009

2. OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION EGRA initiative (How it all started in The Gambia) Description of sample/group, time and process Summary of results Follow-up Actions Conclusion and Lessons Learnt

3. EGRA in The Gambia Started in The Gambia in May 2007 40 schools selected using a stratified random sampling method The sample consists of 34 public, 2 private, 4 mission schools

4. EGRA in The Gambia (Cont’d) 1200 children in Grades 1, 2 and 3 in 40 schools corresponding to 10% of the total number of Lower Basic/Basic cycle schools across the country 30 students per school (10 per grade)

5. Results : Shocking 46% of Third Grade students could not correctly read a single word of connected text Average third grade reading levels were ten words per minute with virtually no comprehension These poor results were consistent with the national assessment tests

6. 2008 National Assessment Test Results

7. FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS Results of the assessment spurred Government into Action (Senior Management Team taking the lead) A task force consisting of senior officials was set up to work on interventions aimed at curbing reading inabilities in schools

8. FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS (Cont’d) Review workshops held immediately to: identify reading gaps in instructional materials of schools and teacher training college curricula identify best practices in the teaching of reading at early grades in the country Handbook on Teaching Early Grade Reading Abilities (EGRA) produced for training of teachers

9. FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS (Cont’d) Teacher Training: About 3000 teachers, including head teachers, senior teachers, Grades 1 – 3 teachers and cluster monitors trained using the Handbooks Early literacy programme initiated and more training conducted.

10. FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS (Cont’d) Radio cassettes provided for correct pronunciation of letter sounds in order to increase phonemic awareness of teachers, pupils and even parents Revised handbook (Early Grade Literacy Handbook) used to train trainers and teachers nationwide

11. FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS (Cont’d) Supplementary readers developed to ensure sustainable phonemic awareness Improvements in students’ reading abilities have been included as a key performance area in the Service Level Agreements that have been signed with head teachers in February this year.

12. EGRA was useful because: Results created awareness in the system on the scale of the problem Tool used in testing was very easy to understand (can be used by teachers for diagnostic, instructional, monitoring and remedial purposes in classroom)

13. Conclusion & Lessons Learnt More emphasis placed on student’s reading abilities at both teacher training level and classroom. Anecdotal evidence from CCM indicate greater awareness by teachers of reading challenges and even some improvement in student reading levels.

14. CONCLUSION & LESSONS LEARNT Involvement of the sector leadership in the Early Grade Reading initiative and the priority accorded to it has greatly enhanced and expedited the positive changes being registered thus far. With the right mix in the use of phonics approach in the early grades, student’s reading abilities can be improved.

15. Finally……. The use of EGRA in The Gambia will contribute significantly in helping the country meet the challenge of improving learning outcomes – a key EFA/FTI goal.

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