Learning outcomes in Sierra Leonean primary schools are poor, which has far reaching implications throughout the education system and society.
Early grade reading assessments conducted in Sierra Leone in 2014 showed that few primary students have the basic reading skills needed for academic and life success.
The majority of grade 2 children scored zero on key reading skills and lack skills in simple mathematics.
The Government has placed strong emphasis on reading in the first three years of primary school and strong foundations for early learning through training of early grade teachers in reading and mathematics.
Montrose was contracted to conduct a baseline assessment prior to the implementation of in-service teacher training.
The assessment measured and documented the state of literacy and numeracy skills among children in primary grades 2 and 4. The study established baseline values for programme indicators and built systems for measuring and monitoring the programme’s outcome and output results.
Experts from Montrose visited schools, assessed children, observed teaching and conducted interviews with head teachers.
The baseline study informed strategies and activities under the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) programme, focusing on improving early grade reading and mathematics.
The study identified difficulties children face in learning to read and solving maths problems, including factors such as the curriculum, teachers’ professional knowledge, teaching methodologies, and classroom practices.
The assessment also captured information related to children’s home contexts.
The study also informed on-going teacher training work conducted by the Teacher Service Commission (TSC) and Global Education Dashboard data for Sierra Leone.