Report outlines progress in English and numeracy

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 29 October 2018, 12:00AM

The overall results for national Samoa Primary Education Certification Assessment (S.P.E.C.A.) indicate that English and numeracy have the highest percentage of students with potential at the “beginner” level. 

This was highlighted in the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) Statistical Digest 2017 Report. 

The report outlines statistical data that highlights the progress and change in the early childhood, primary and secondary levels of education in Samoa.

According to the report, the overall result for the aptitude test is 56 percent for English and 76 percent for numeracy. 

“The Ministry notes that there is still a long way to go with effective interventions to improve English and numeracy aptitude not only for students, but within improving teacher pedagogy,” said the report. 

The report also outlined an increase in the number of schools meeting Minimum Service Standards based on the 2016 National examination results. 

“Clear and appropriate competencies in literacy and numeracy at school level recorded a gradual increase from 2013 to 2016 in the number of government schools meeting these indicators.” 

As indicated in the report, 8 percent of primary schools achieved the overall 20 percent improvement in student performance. The same figure was reflected in 2015.

The Samoa Primary Education Literacy Level (S.P.E.L.L.) assessments are diagnostic and competency based tests in the learning areas of Samoan literacy, English literacy, and numeracy for Years 4 and 6. 

“Students achieving proficient or established achievement levels demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary for literacy and numeracy as specified in the Samoa Curriculum Standards (National SPELL Report 2015). 

“The S.P.E.C.A. assessment, on the other hand, is an aptitude test to find out about the natural strengths of the students. 

“The percentage of Year 4 primary school children meeting a minimum level of proficiency for literacy and numeracy by gender and that English literacy, more females than males performed at proficient and higher, showing a 16 percent difference.”

The report further stated that: 

Numeracy shows that females are more proficient than males with 46 percent of females at the proficient level or higher compared to 37 percent of males, indicating a 9 percent difference in achievement; 

In English literacy, females are more proficient than males with 48 percent of females achieving at proficient and higher while males achieved 32 percent; and in Samoan Literacy, 62 percent of females achieved at ‘proficient’ and ‘established’ levels compared to 48 percent of males. 

From the figures/percentages, M.E.S.C. notes the overall achievement gap across the three learning areas as a large number of students still perform at beginning-critical level. 

This calls for more effective strategies to  address these  issues especially in numeracy and English literacy.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 29 October 2018, 12:00AM

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