Saturday, 12 May 2012

Rwanda : National Reading Standards for Primary Schools to be set

The Literacy, Language and Learning (L3) Initiative in partnership with Rwanda Education Board (REB) organized a Workshop to Establish National Standards for Reading in both English and Kinyarwanda.
The two-day Workshop held in Musanze, Northern Province on May 7-8 resulted in the development of reading standards for P3 and P5 levels.
The standards will enable the Ministry of Education to track students’ reading progress, over time, at the national level. They will also provide schools and parents with clear benchmarks against which to measure their children’s development.
The meeting brought together English and Kinyarwanda curriculum specialists from four REB departments as well as linguists and development partners.
To define these clear standards, participants had to work together to decide what it means for students to be “fluent” readers at each grade level and language.
Metrics to determine a student’s fluency include number of words read accurately per minute, as well as comprehension of the material. Workshop participants also identified appropriate tools for measuring these metrics.
The results of two early grade reading studies carried out by MINEDUC in 2011 – the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA, supported by RTI International/USAID), and the Learning Assessment in Rwandan Schools (LARS, supported by UNESCO and UNICEF) – served as reference points for the deliberations.
The development of National Reading Standards will provide parents and teachers with clear reference points for determining whether their children are acquiring the reading skills they need to be successful learners.
After they are well streamlined, the standards will also allow identifying students who are not performing at the desired level and require additional support.
At a national level, the Ministry will be able to objectively monitor whether critical, early-grade reading abilities are improving over time. The overall result will be a more comprehensive and informed approach to improving young children’s reading skills.


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