Tashkent, Uzbekistan – On November 14, 2019, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Rosenblum and Minister of Public Education Sherzod Shermatov visited School #238 in Tashkent to launch an Early Grade Reading (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessments (EGMA) pilot in Uzbekistan. One of the key partnerships between USAID and the Government of Uzbekistan is focused on promoting quality education for Uzbekistani children. The collaboration between Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Public Education (MPE) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to advance early grade reading and math for Uzbekistan’s school children.
Participants at the event had an opportunity to observe a tester administer a trial assessment to a fourth grade student. EGRA and EGMA are gold standards for assessments of basic education systems and are conducted via one-on-one assessments (and a group format for grade 4 math) of randomly selected students. A team of experts from the RTI International commissioned by USAID have been working with MPE counterparts to develop and test instruments for students in grade two and four. The data from EGRA and EGMA assessments will be used to conduct a national-level survey in 2020 on how well students are developing foundational skills in primary schools across the country.
In his opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Daniel Rosenblum pointed out that “EGRA and EGMA is not a test of an individual pupil’s knowledge, of an individual teacher’s ability to teach, or an individual school director’s management of a school. There are no passing or failing grades. Much like how a doctor examines a patient before prescribing treatment, the assessments are examining the condition of early grade reading and math learning and the results of these assessments will be used to develop new curricula, teaching methods, and approaches that will improve the learning outcomes of all pupils in Uzbekistan.”
The EGRA/EGMA will be conducted in seven local languages (Uzbek, Russian, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Tajik, Kyrgyz, and Turkmen). Pilot testing in November will take place in Tashkent, Tashkent region, Andijan, Samarkand, Surkhandarya and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. These assessments are the first component of the $50 million, five-year Development Objective Grant Agreement (DOAG) that was signed between the Ministry and USAID on September 28, 2019 as the Ministry places greater emphasis on a competency-based approach to education.
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