What Can the Results from Recent Early Grade Learning Assessments in Tanzania and Nigeria Teach Us about Measuring Learning for Sustainable Futures?
Presented at the UKFIET 13th Conference “Learning for Sustainable Futures – Making the Connections”, University of Oxford, September 15-17 2015
16 Pages Posted: 23 May 2016
Date Written: September 1, 2015
Thousands of young children in Tanzania and Nigeria have taken part in large-scale learning assessments in the past few years, as part of efforts to assess the impact of various education quality improvement programmes, and to monitor the effect of quality improvement policies. This paper presents early learning assessment results, contrasting different early grade learning assessment approaches and finds some important implications, given the goal of sustainable futures.
At the heart of learning for sustainable futures is the equity imperative that all young children, regardless of personal characteristics or background, need to acquire critical foundational skills so they can benefit from future learning opportunities, realise their potential and contribute to sustainable societies. Tracking equity in early grade learning is essential for monitoring progress towards sustainable future goals, but it is not straightforward. The early grade learning assessments in Tanzania and Nigeria provide useful information on learning levels, but there is scope to strengthen both measurement approaches and the use of assessments to inform policy. The current assessments provide little information on the skills of large groups of learners who are struggling to keep up with the curriculum, and they can result in deficit approaches by focusing on what children cannot do, rather than what they can do. The paper also highlights an opportunity to broaden the evidence base on equity in early grade learning by increasing within and across country comparability.
Keywords: Tanzania, Nigeria, Education, Pupil Learning, Literacy, Numeracy, Equity, Learning Measurement
JEL Classification: I2, O15, N37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation