Reading and Numeracy Assessment
USAID Readers are Leaders Project has introduced two assessment instruments: EGRA (Early Grade Reading Assessment), and EGMA (Early Grade Mathematics Assessment). Originally, developed by USAID and the World Bank, these instruments have global reach and rapid expansion, are used in more than 70 countries, worldwide, and adapted in more than 120 languages. Our project localized the instruments in Macedonian, Albanian and the Turkish language.
Administrated in a language that the child can understand, by a trained assessor, these oral tests are aligned with essential and teachable skills that research has shown children can and should acquire in their early stages of education. USAID Readers are Leaders Project provided training and tablet computers for representatives from ALL primary schools in Macedonia in order to make the data collection process more efficient and the results much more reliable.
In 2013, EGRA and EGMA tools were piloted in 21 schools selected in a public call. The number of the schools where assessment were being conducted gradually increased in the following phases of the project and involved schools from diverse regions of the country.
In May, 2014, early-grade reading and math baseline study was conducted with 42 schools. The final report from the baseline study can be found here.
In May, 2015, early-grade reading and math baseline study was conducted with 62 schools. The final report from the study can be found here.
In September 2015, as requested by the Ministry of Education and Science, all public primary schools in the Republic of Macedonia joined the project in order to take part in a nation-wide study in May 2016. The report from this study can be found here, and a short version from the report can be found here. At the same time, we are continuing to measure the progress of selected students from 42 schools since 2014. USAID Readers are Leaders Project organized training for representatives from all primary schools for EGRA and EGMA administration. Frequently asked questions on the assessment intruments administration in Macedonian language can be found here (MK).
Background information is collected to obtain a broader picture of school and home-related factors, influencing student performance in math and reading.
The assessment results are then shared with schools and relevant education institutions in order to identify key skills and areas of instruction that need to be improved, to raise awareness and improve policy as well as curriculum. EGRA results ought to be used to set reading indicators as well as benchmarks, in order for teachers to be able to identify those children that are not meeting grade-level expectations and by recognizing those children, targeted support can be provided for them.