Literacy, numeracy skills in primary class dipped during pandemic: ReportView(s):
An Education Ministry report assessing the achievement level of Grade 3 students during the pandemic has revealed that a critically low percentage of students achieved foundational skills in both literacy and numeracy.
The study was done by taking a sample of 10,600 students out of a total of 332,231 Grade 3 students. Schools were selected by random sampling method.
Three school categories were identified as schools with 10 or fewer students in Grade 3 classes, schools with 11-80 students in Grade 3 classes and schools with more than 80 students in Grade 3 classes.
Factors such as gender, language (medium) of learning, type of school, level of income and location (province and educational zone) were considered when schools were selected. The foundational skills of literacy and numeracy in students had declined to 6 and 7 percent respectively in the sample.
The students’ overall achievement for sub-components of literacy is also low. Student percentages that achieved all foundational skills in listening skills, speech skills, reading skills and writing skills are 27%, 20, 37% and 34% respectively.
Though the overall achievement of students in numeracy skills, too, are very low, they were higher compared to the literacy achievements.
The report recommended that the quality of teaching learning process in Primary Education should be improved. It also pointed out the need for new approaches to be introduced and implemented for teaching learning processes and assessments. Teachers should be encouraged, and enforced, to follow formative assessment techniques, while students should be made to actively participate in learning. Self-evaluation concepts should be introduced to teachers to assess their own progress in teaching.
The report also recommended national level action to improve literacy and numeracy. Some of them were to define minimum proficiency levels for literacy and numeracy.
The curriculum should be revised according to Global Proficiency Levels. The curriculum for pre-primary age and readiness skills, which were revised in 2016 by the National Institute of Education and Education Ministry should be connected to each other.
Foundational skills acquired in pre-primary age should be widened gradually through the primary and secondary curriculum. Assessments should be introduced to ensure the acquisition of these skills, and remediation should be prepared if necessary.
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