Improving teaching is a big challenge around the world. Some studies have shown that when teachers and school administrators have clear information about student performance, they are able to make better decisions for improving learning. For example, grouping students by performance level or adopting different teaching strategies. The Government of Mozambique has implemented a pilot program to raise student achievement in reading through new pupil testing requirements. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy for improving reading outcomes in young children.
Research area: Education
Evaluation Sample: 110 primary schools
Timeline: 2012 - 2015
Intervention: Assessment tests, training, information
Researchers: Sophie Naudeau, World Bank; Marie-Helene Cloutier, World Bank; Maria-Jose Ramirez, World Bank
Early reading forms the foundation for future learning. Children who fail to develop basic reading skills early in life are likely to lag further as instruction gets more complex. While experts and governments understand the importance of breaking the cycle of low student performance early, rigorous evidence on cost-efficient ways to improve early reading for a large population of children remains scarce. This evaluation will contribute to an understanding of what can work to boost reading ability and thus improve education for all.
Mozambique, a southeast African country emerging from a period of civil war and natural calamity, has made tremendous progress over the past decade in opening access to primary education. But scores on standardized reading tests are very low. Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique and the language being tested, but many students do not speak Portuguese at home.
Now that enrollment is strong, the country has shifted its emphasis to focus on improving the quality of primary education. This evaluation looks at classroom-based assessment as a route for giving teachers, students and their families information for improving reading skills in Mozambique.