Ms Karen Roux, Project Co-ordinator of the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA), attended the Ninth National Research Co-ordinator (NRC) meeting of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016, held at the Steigenberger Hotel in Hamburg, Germany, in February.
During this meeting the participants received hands-on International Database training in order to merge datasets, conduct data analysis, and generate outputs for dissemination. Falk Brese, International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Research Analyst, conducted the training in the use of the IEA IDB Analyzer, while the Head of the Research, Analysis, and Sampling Unit at the IEA in Hamburg, Sabine Meinck, delivered a presentation on testing for statistical significance. In addition to the data analysis training, participants also concluded the PIRLS 2016 study and the IEA commended the participants for a successful release.
The South African PIRLS 2016 revealed that nearly 8 out of 10 Grade Four learners cannot read for comprehension compared to 4 in 100 internationally. The South African PIRLS 2016 and PIRLS Literacy 2016 country reports are available on the CEA website.
Ms Roux, who is currently busy with her PhD in Assessment and Quality Assurance, focusing on the validity of PIRLS instruments in South Africa, also attended the first NRC meeting of the PIRLS 2021 project held in Hamburg in February. This meeting focused on the reviewing of informational and literary passages as well as contextual questionnaires. The reading assessment framework was also reviewed to ensure that it reflects current trends in reading literacy. Other countries that attended the meetings included the USA, Canada, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Chinese Taipei, and Morocco.