Implementing and Evaluating Interventions to Improve School Readiness and Early Literacy
Experience from the Pacific Early Age Readiness and Learning Program: Operational Guide
In recent decades, Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have improved school enrollment substantially. While children are performing better on numeracy than literacy in primary school, PI Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) results show children are falling behind as they progress. From 2009 to 2012, the World Bank, with funding from the education for all - fast track initiative (EFA-FTI) and the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, conducted a number of analytical pieces in the Pacific to better understand the factors impacting on poor learning outcomes of students. These included:
- Early grade reading assessments (EGRAs) in Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea to identify weaknesses in student reading and possible contributing factors.
- Assessments of the policy and enabling environment for early childhood development activities using the systems approach for better education results (SABER) tools.
- Community dialogs to better understand perceptions around school readiness and early learning.
The implementation of the Pacific early age readiness and learning (PEARL) program has generated significant data, evidence, operational experience, and knowledge. This document aims to draw on the experiences of design and implementation of PEARL activities in order to provide guidance to practitioners who plan to adopt or implement similar activities in other countries, particularly in the Pacific and similar contexts. In addition to implementation details, the document includes information about the outcomes of the activities, justification for choosing the activities, and lessons learned. The document is divided into four chapters:
- Chapter one provides arguments, particularly to funding agencies, on the benefits of investing in school readiness and early literacy.
- Chapters two and three provide more detail on the theory and evidence base for the selection of school readiness and early literacy interventions under PEARL.
- Chapter four provides information on key elements to be taken into consideration when moving from pilot to scale with the aforementioned interventions.