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Niger NECS EGRA Descriptive Study Round 1
- Overall, reading scores in all four languages were very low for 1st- and 2nd-grade students in Niger. In all languages and both grades average scores were near or equal to zero for most reading skills.
- Scores, though low, were highest on letter identification. Depending on the language, children were able to identify an average of three to nine letters per minute.
Mathematica is conducting a randomized evaluation of the Niger Education and Community Strengthening (NECS) project, funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The NECS project seeks to increase access to quality education and improve student reading achievement through an ambitious early-grade reading curriculum. The project trains and supports teachers in using new methods to teach early-grade reading in local languages and also develops reading materials in these languages. The NECS project also seeks to engage the community and encourage families to enroll and keep their children in school, placing a special emphasis on girls.
As part of a descriptive study, Mathematica administered an early-grade reading assessment (EGRA) on reading performance in local languages in NECS schools. The goal of the study was to help USAID accomplish its first goal in its education strategy: improve reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades by 2015 by providing data on reading levels for 1st and 2nd graders in NECS schools early in the implementation of NECS.
During the 2013–2014 school year, Mathematica administered EGRAs in four local languages to 1st and 2nd graders in 27 randomly selected NECS intervention schools. Our report presents students’ scores on each of the five reading competencies measured, broken out by gender, language, grade, region, and NECS intervention status.