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EGRA Plus: Liberia From Assessment to Intervention Roseline N. Sherman Ministry of Education Republic of Liberia All Children Reading by 2015: From Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "EGRA Plus: Liberia From Assessment to Intervention Roseline N. Sherman Ministry of Education Republic of Liberia All Children Reading by 2015: From Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 EGRA Plus: Liberia From Assessment to Intervention Roseline N. Sherman Ministry of Education Republic of Liberia All Children Reading by 2015: From Assessment to Action Washington, DC April 12-14, 2010


3 About Liberia It has a land area of 111,370 square kilometers A population of 3.5 million people and growth rate of 2.1% The country is divided into 15 Counties 25% of the population are women of child bearing age 19% are children under-five National literacy rate is now at 55%

4 About Liberia (cont.) Liberia is emerging from 14 years of destructive civil war which severely disrupted the education system The elections of 2005 ushered in new leadership and optimism that have resulted in significant improvements in the education system Compulsory primary education leading to high enrollment in schools of 1.3million. There is however a high demand for emphasis on improved reading skills in the Liberian primary schools

5 EGRA Plus: Liberia Requested by the Liberian Ministry of Education Funded by the World Bank and USAID Included country-wide study to determine intervention points and raise awareness Research-based approach to remedy critical areas in reading performance identified by the EGRA instrument –Teaching reading focuses on the big 5 skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension –Developed scope and sequence for a whole year, with daily lesson plans following a simple instructional model; includes reading material –Accountability and support mechanisms: parental involvement, lots of teacher and school support and supervision, and regular EGRA assessments Current stage still a pilot –But other than the Pratham experience in India, we think it is the largest and most rigorous one in early grade reading anywhere, at this point –So we are eager to share with colleagues from other countries MoE interested in going to scale; this workshop is timely and very welcome

6 Counties of operation or coverage in Liberia EGRA is operating in 180 schools in seven (7) of the fifteen (15) counties in Liberia; Nimba, Bong, Lofa, Margibi, Monteserrado, Bomi, Gbapolu. Selected EGRA Counties have a total of 2,700 schools. Out of this number, 180 schools which is 6% of the counties total are receiving EGRA services. Schools sampled randomly proportional to enrollment in public schools, using a two stage sampling approach – –districts were chosen randomly prop to population –in each district one school was chosen randomly and it became a central school around which a cluster of 4 schools was formed. There are 15 districts, each district has 3 clusters of 4 schools (one cluster is control schools, one cluster is light intervention schools, and one cluster is full intervention schools) – more on the design follows.


8 8 EGRA Plus Project Design 8 60 Control Schools 60 Light Intervention Schools 60 Full Intervention Schools EGRA Assessmentyes School Report Cardnoyes Face-to-Face Teacher Trainingno yes School-Based Teacher Supportno yes Teacher Reading Kitsno yes Student Reading Books (decodable)no yes Informal Assessmentsno yes Ongoing Project Supportno yes

9 9 A few more words on the intervention Teacher training focused on: scope (what), sequence (when), and instructional model (how). (teacher kit with daily lesson plans) Student report card – informing parents about student performance and creating accountability for results School-based support: monthly visits by ToTs to support teachers (8 times per year) Student decodable books: closely tied to lesson plans Students required to read at home 20 minutes a day Building small libraries at schools (50-60 grade appropriate books) (All developed in collaboration with local stakeholders)

10 10 Baseline results –Baseline data collected in November 2008; full report available, but for this presentation, let’s see just one skill – reading a passage –Connected text (or story reading): average number of correct words (cwpm) per minute in 2nd grade was 18; and in 3rd – 28 cwpm. Combined for grades 2 and 3: 19 cwpm –To put this into perspective, if a child in the US read less than 70 cwpm at the end of 2 nd grade, that child would be considered at risk. –Comprehension – data indicates that children are not understanding what they read

11 11 Mid-term assessment results Intervention started in Feb/Mar 2009 Mid-term assessment conducted in May/June 2009  only 3.5 months of intervention. Connected-text fluency (or story reading): Full-treatment increased by 51% (19 to 30 cwpm) (both grades). –Grade 2 increased by 78% (13to 23 cwpm); –Grade 3 increased by 39% (26 to 36 cwpm) Light-treatment schools increased by 29% (21 to 27 cwpm) (both grades). –Grade 2 increased by 29% (16 to 20 cwpm); –Grade 3 increased by 28% (27 to 34 cwpm) –Comprehension: Improved but still lagging. –Full-treatment schools increased their scores by only 1.6% over baseline. –Learners in Grade 2 and 3 are not yet decoding fluently (using 60 correct words read in one minute as the benchmark) –With improved fluency this should also improve. –Note that intervention focuses on comprehension directly, does not wait until fluency achieved (e.g., starts with oral comprehension)

12 How to scale it up? Without a doubt that improvements in reading are possible –Even in the hardest working conditions MOE is interested in expanding the reading efforts to all of its schools –EGRA is a pilot project and only 2% of the total number of students in the seven (7) Counties are benefiting from EGRA. If we must make the required Country-Wide Push on Early Grade Literacy”, all concerned partners should increase their funding input to the EGRA Process The MOE will make sure that all required support is provided to partners and donors But the model is labor-intensive, and requires lots of logistical capability –MOE interested in discussion and suggestions on how to take it to scale –Discussions and comparisons with experts and other countries welcome on how to tackle the scale issue.

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