The Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA), with the help from the Department of Basic Education, conducted the pilot study of the international reading assessment, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2021) in South Africa as the country prepares to roll out the PIRLS 2021. Grade 5 learners from 15 schools across the Gauteng province completed a reading assessment consisting of both informational and literary passages as well as questionnaires to assess their attitude towards reading early in March this year. The field trial was based on passages submitted by countries interested in the study. The PIRLS Reading Development Group developed a set of reading comprehension items to accompany each passage that included multiple-choice and constructed-response formats.
PIRLS is a study conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), and is managed at an international level by the International Study Center in Boston College. The CEA is a National Research Centre for PIRLS in South Africa and manages the study.
Mr Mishack Tshele (Data Manager of the CEA) conducted the data capturing training for the PIRLS contextual questionnaires with the data capturers at the CEA offices on Saturday 21 March 2020, while the online training for the capturing of Achievement booklets data was conducted online on Monday 18 May 2020 through Zoom video meetings. Expressing her pride in the work done by the CEA team for the project, amid the Covid-19 lockdown in the country, the Director of the CEA, Dr Surette van Staden thanked everyone who assisted with the study and announced that the data was submitted on deadline to the PIRLS Data Processing Centre in Boston College.