#Article (Archive)

Education launches early grade reading ability report

Aug 27, 2010, 2:38 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Mrs. Fatou Lamin Faye yesterday launched the Early Grade Reading Ability (EGRA) in schools for 2009 Impact Assessment Outcome.

The ceremony, which coincided with the closing of a two-week education survey course, was from 16th –26th August 2010 held at Baoba Lodge in Bijilo.

In her inaugural statement, the Minister said the education survey course came at a time of great need, adding that it happens at a time when the demand for quality education has greatly intensified leading to persistent call from all stakeholders for all schools to deliver high quality education to all students.

She said the training was therefore a step towards increasing her ministry's local capacity to conduct evidence based research on their own, asserting that the purpose of the training was to institutionalise and expand the culture of research and the use of research findings, not only to empirically determine the right policies, plans and investment. But, he said, it was also meant to establish the effectiveness and impact of her ministry’s policy options.

Minister Faye said concerns about children’s ability to read have in the past few years been the focus of her ministry.

According to her, from one of the figures presented in the 2007 report, 34% of the students in Grade 3 were unable to read a single word from a passage in the assessment, while in 2009 this figure was reduced to 18%, indicating that the proportion of the students who could not read a single word has reduced by half.

Minister Faye said it is important to note that the results of the impact assessment on EGRA conducted in 2009 have shown a marked improvement in the reading abilities of students across the sixth educational regions of the country.

Adama Jimba Jobe, the Co-ordinator for the two-week EGRA course, said during the training 11 modules were covered, out of which nine were individualised interactive modules and two were taught.

He said the objective of the EGRA training was to aid students to be able to read at an early age, adding that the training was not only for students to read, but equally for the personnel of her ministry to be able to collect and analyse data.

Other speakers were Michael Costello and Abhijit Nimbalkar, both from Research Triangular Institute (RTI) in USA, PS at MoBSE Baboucarr Bouy.

Dr. Ida J. Sallah delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of participants, while Burama LJ Jammeh chaired the ceremony.