تاريخ نشر الخبر :25/05/2021
The Ministry of Education kicks off start the implementation of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) today (Wednesday) in all governorates of the Sultanate. PIRLS is an international evaluation study organized by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) to measures reading skills among fourth-grade students. This year is the third participation round for the Sultanate, respectively, after the 2011 and 2016 rounds.
A sample of schools was chosen to represent the Sultanate internationally in this study, with a total of (222) schools, of which (189) government schools, (17) private schools, and (16) international schools from all educational directorates in the governorates. The number of students participating in the actual application as a random sample in this study reached (6381) fourth-grade students where (372) students participate from (15) schools in the Governorate of Dhofar, and (232) students from (8) schools in the Musandam Governorate. From Muscat Governorate, the number of participating students is (825) from (28) schools, (505) students participating from South Al-Sharqiya Governorate. South Al Batinah Governorate participates with (653) students from (22) schools and the Governorate of Buraimi participates with a selected division from (10) different government schools where the number of students taking the test is (272) students. From North Al-Sharqiya Governorate, a total number of (340) students from (14) schools are participating in PIRLS 2021, alongside with (298) students from (10) schools from Al Dhahirah Governorate, (174) from (8) schools from Al-Wusta Governorate, and (717) students from (24) schools from Al-Dhakhiliya Governorate.
HE Prof. Dr. Abdullah bin Khamis Ambosaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Education stated that: “The international study for measuring reading skills PIRLS 2021 organized by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) based in the Netherlands, which is an independent international body consisting of representatives from a group of educational institutions, research centers and government agencies. The Sultanate’s participation comes in continuation of the approach that the Sultanate is following. The International Study PIRLS is conducted once every five years, and it is concerned with measuring reading comprehension skills in the language of study in the participating country, in order to achieve a number of objectives, the most important of which are: comparing the level of students in each country with their counterparts in other participating countries, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the students, and help in developing and implementing plans that contribute to the development of students’ abilities and competencies in reading comprehension.”
HE added: “The choice of the fourth-grade students in the international study PIRLS, is because it represents an important turning point in the child's reading development. The improvement of education in the Sultanate received much attention from the Ministry, and because this development needs to be evaluated in order to obtain indicators about the extent of educational and reading development in particular among fourth-grade students to enhance its educational outcomes, compared to other international levels; the Ministry sought to participate in the study to obtain these indicators, in order to achieve a number of objectives, most notably: measuring the level of students' performance according to international standards adopted by the organization that organizes this international study, and obtaining data and statistics that help the ministry in achieving high levels of quality in the educational system in general and in teaching the skill of reading among students in particular, and identifying the factors associated with acquiring knowledge through teaching methods and school resources. This is gained through analyzing the test results and questionnaire data, which in turn will provide decision-makers with adequate information on the topics that resources should be directed to in order to improve early literacy.”
It is worth noting that the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) aims to achieve several goals including providing countries with comparative international data, data on their national trends in reading literacy and writing among fourth-grade students, studying and analyzing school systems to stand on its pros and cons, and collecting data and information about the home and school environment, and reading activities in the school by distributing and analyzing the four questionnaires to identify the factors that are associated with high levels of literacy. The study also seeks to identify the competencies of students in achieving goals set according to the reading standards, as well as to identify the percentage of differences between the performance of females and males, and between the different types of schools, and also to identify the factors associated with the acquisition of knowledge, and related to teaching methods, as well as school resources. It also aims to identifying strengths and weaknesses in relation to students' literacy level which will provide decision-makers with adequate information on where the resources should be directed to improve early literacy, and how reading is taught, and the extent to which its time, methods, and materials are organized in schools. The study also seeks to compare the educational practices of the teachers of the participating countries with those of other countries, in addition to knowing how the family environment affects the students’ performance in reading, and to obtain a tangible indication of the extent of reading development in particular for them, and thus determining the level of education in the participating country, which enhances its educational outcomes compared to other global levels.
Wrote: Thuraiya Al Hosni