by Meriba Tulo – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The National Department of Education this week launched the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) project. This project comes under the Read PNG program, which is funded by the World Bank and implemented, by the curriculum development division section.
The Read PNG project comprises three components:
- Increasing the availability of books and reading materials
- Teacher professional development
- Early grade reading assessment
Through the project, library books and bookshelves have been provided to piloted schools. Training was also conducted with teachers on areas of library management and effective use of library books.
To date over 18,000 teachers have received training, with over 500,000 students having access to library books of over 60 different titles inside their classrooms.
According to Minister for Education, Nick Kuman, these reports provide a detailed diagnosis of children’s reading performance in the early grades, and highlight some of the challenges of teaching children to read in PNG.
He adds that the country’s focus on educational quality means that his department must be able to measure quality by utilising EGRA.
His sentiments were echoed by Acting Education Secretary, Dr Uke Kombra, who said EGRA complements the existing Universal Basic Education Plan (2009-2018) that includes a quality of education improved component.
Both of these strategic plans set out the department’s strategy for improving the quality of education in PNG.
The EGRA will be used to provide detailed policy recommendations to guide discussions about improving literacy in PNG.