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6.2.13 Survival Rates

Survival rate to Grade 5 1997/1998

Gender Parity Index

1997/1998

Both sexes

Male (M)

Female (F)

Survival rate to grade 5

Coef. of efficiency at Grade 5

Coef. of efficiency in primary educ.

60.8%

62.5%

59.2%

0.9

1.0

0.9

 

Survival 1997/98

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Total

100%

80.7%

70.9%

66.4%

60.8%

55.2%

51.6%

47.2%

41.8%

35.4%

Female

100%

84.4%

73.7%

68.1%

59.2%

55.1%

49.3%

44.0%

38.2%

33.8%

Male

100%

77.6%

68.6%

65.0%

62.5%

55.2%

53.6%

50.4%

45.6%

37.0%

 

Dropout 1997/98

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Total

13.5%

12.0%

6.3%

8.3%

9.2%

6.5%

8.5%

11.4%

15.2%

0.0%

Female

10.9%

12.6%

8.0%

13.0%

6.8%

10.4%

10.9%

13.1%

11.6%

0.0%

Male

15.6%

11.6%

4.8%

3.9%

11.6%

3.0%

5.8%

9.5%

18.7%

0.0%

Source : Education Management Information System, Ministry of Education, 1997-1998

Survival rates and drop out rates in the Cook Islands must be interpreted with due regard to Grade 1 enrolment and the decreasing population of the country and schools.

The dropout rates are more reflective of emigration rather than students of school age simply not attending school. In 1997, 99.9% of 5 – 10 year children in the Cook Islands were enrolled in preschool, primary or secondary schools. Between 1996 and 1998 the resident population and the total school enrolment both declined by 11%.

Survival Rates by Grade and Gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.2.14 Coefficient of Efficiency

The coefficient of efficiency compares the ideal number of pupil-years with the actual number of pupil-years to provide a synthetic indication of the internal efficiency of an education system. If every child remains in the system and is promoted each year the coefficient of efficiency would be 100%. Values less than 100% are due to students repeating grades or leaving the system.

1997/1998 Coefficient of Efficiency

C of E

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Total

-

-

-

67.3%

65.3%

64.6%

62.3%

57.8%

51.4%

54.1%

Female

-

-

-

63.9%

64.1%

60.9%

57.5%

52.7%

49.2%

51.8%

Male

-

-

-

70.4%

66.1%

67.9%

67.0%

63.1%

53.4%

56.1%

 

Coefficient of efficiency in primary education

Grades 1 - 6

Coefficient of efficiency in basic education

Grades 1 - 10

Both sexes

Male

Female

Both sexes

Male

Female

64.6 %

67.9 %

60.9 %

54.1%

56.1%

51.8%

Source : Education Management Information System, Ministry of Education, 1997-1998

Coefficient of efficiency at grade 5 and final grade by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The low efficiency of the Cook Islands education system is due to the high repetition rate (30%) at the Grade 1 level and the apparent high dropout rates resulting from an 11 % decline in the school roll. Improvements in efficiency will result from decreased emigration and the development and implementation of new policy directives for the Preschool and New Entrant / Grade 1 levels.

1997/1998 Pupil - Years

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Total

1,429

810

712

667

611

559

516

476

418

354

Female

1,428

849

744

684

595

557

493

442

382

338

Male

1,429

779

686

653

627

561

536

510

456

370

Source : Education Management Information System, Ministry of Education, 1997-1998

Years input per graduate by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The apparently high number of years required for a student to complete basic education is again misleading due to the high Grade 1 repetition rate and population decreases. Another factor is that some parents send their children to schools in New Zealand especially from Form 3 (Grade 9) level onwards. The actual number of students involved is not known.

6.3 LEARNING ACHIEVEMENT AND OUTCOMES

6.3.1 Introduction

Education development in the Cook Islands has mainly focussed on quality improvement. The aims of the Education Sector Action Plan included improving the quality of primary school graduates and improving the scale and quality of the secondary school grade output for further education and the local labour market. Specific indicators of achievement in the Action Plan were improved national primary educational standards, improved secondary student performance, increased Form 5 graduates and increased numbers of students qualifying for further education.

6.3.2 Grade 4 Learning Competency

The Education Sector Action Plan aimed to improve national primary school educational standards. While the Grade 4 Diagnostic Tests do not provide any data on trends, they do provide baseline data for future comparisons and do indicate that standards in Maori are low on Rarotonga

Grade 4 Diagnostic Tests were introduced in 1999. Students are tested in English, Maori and Mathematics. The Maori and Mathematics tests were translated into 7 island dialects including Pukapukan. Students sat the Maori test in their local island dialect and elected to sit the Mathematics test in either English or the local island dialect. The Maori and English tests comprised of Listening (5 marks), Reading (5), Writing (5) and Dictation (4). The Mathematics test comprised of Calculations (10 marks), Numbers (4), Measurement (3), Algebra (2), Geometry (5) and Statistics (1). Marks for each subject were converted to a 5 point scale (Achievement Levels 1 – 5). Achievement levels 1 – 2 are considered to be below the minimum standard of basic competency in the subject concerned. Achievement levels 3 – 5 are deemed to be above the minimum standard and levels 4 – 5 are deemed to be a high standard of basic competency. Data by gender is not yet available.

1999 G4 pupils who achieve the minimum standards in basic learning competencies

Maori

English

Mathematics

Northern Group

84%

35%

48%

Southern Group

78%

53%

73%

Rarotonga

63%

82%

76%

National

71%

66%

72%

Source : Directorate of Audit and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, 1999

 

Achievement of minimum standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achievement of minimum standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1999 Grade 4 pupils who achieve high standards in basic learning competencies

Maori

English

Mathematics

Northern Group

49%

8%

4%

Southern Group

36%

25%

37%

Rarotonga

25%

54%

46%

National

32%

38%

39%

Source : Directorate of Audit and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, 1999

Competency in Maori is directly related to isolation from Rarotonga. The more isolated Northern Group islands have the highest percentage of students attaining minimum standards in Maori as well the highest percentage of students attaining high standards in Maori. Achievement by Southern Group students, although not as high as Northern Group students, is nevertheless significantly higher than the achievement of students on Rarotonga. Over a third of Rarotonga students fail to reach the minimum standard of competence in Maori. The low level of achievement in Maori on Rarotonga is generally attributed to parents and teachers assigning priority to English as the main language required by students for higher education and professions.

The reverse trend is true for competency in English, which is strongest in Rarotonga, weaker in the Southern Group and weakest in the Northern Group where only one third of students achieve the minimum standard of competence. In the outer islands Maori is the dominant language in the home and the workplace. Mathematics also follows a similar trend to English although the gap between Rarotonga and the Southern Group is not as pronounced.

Source : "Report on Grade 4 Diagnostics Tests 1999", Peter Etches, Ministry of Education

6.3.3 Grade 5 - 7 Standardised Tests of Achievement

The Education Sector Action Plan’s aim of improved national primary education standards are yet to be achieved. Annual STACI tests indicate that there has been some improvement in Mathematics but standards in both English and Maori have declined since 1994.

Each year Standardised Tests of Achievement are sat in Grade 5 English, Grade 6 Maori and Grade 7 (Form 1) Mathematics. Marks are converted into stanines (9 groups) ranked from 1 (low) to 9 (high). The same test is administered each year. The means for those schools which provided results each year since 1994 are tabled below.

1994 – 1999 STACI MEANS (only for those schools providing results every year)

 

Grade

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

English

5

5.80

5.83

5.53

5.57

5.47

5.46

CI Maori

6

5.55

5.39

5.34

5.00

5.18

4.93

Mathematics

7

4.81

4.94

5.11

5.53

5.00

5.09

Source : Directorate of Audit and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1999 STACI MEANS (for all schools providing results in 1999)

1999

G5 English

G6 Maori

G7 Mathematics

Northern Group

3.39

5.03

3.49

Southern Group

4.69

5.25

4.41

Rarotonga

6.37

4.34

5.82

Source : Directorate of Audit and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, 1999

Overall, achievement in Grade 5 English has declined since 1994. Results from Rarotonga have improved recently and are significantly higher than in the outer islands. Results in the Southern Group have leveled out in recent years. The lowest levels of achievement are recorded by Northern Group students with results continuing to decline each year.

Achievement in Grade 6 Maori has also decreased since 1994. The decline is mainly due to lower achievement by students on Rarotonga. The gap between Rarotonga students and outer island students continues to widen.

Achievement in Grade 7 (Form 1) Mathematics has increased slightly mainly in line with improved performances on Rarotonga. Standards in the Southern Group have declined significantly since 1995. The Northern Group islands consistently produce the lowest results but their decline over the 4 years has been marginal.

Source : "Report on Cook Islands Standardised Tests of Achievement 1999", Peter Etches, Ministry of Education

6.3.4 Secondary School Achievement

The Education Sector Action Plan’s aim of improved secondary school students’ performances is yet to be achieved in terms of national performances in New Zealand School Certificate examinations although the data does suggest that there have been improvements by students in the outer islands.

NZSC PASS RATES

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

National

33%

29%

29%

34%

37%

Rarotonga

43%

35%

34%

36%

40%

Outer Islands (Southern Group)

13%

19%

16%

26%

27%

Source : NZQA Examination Results Spreadsheets

Cook Islands secondary school students generally sit New Zealand School Certificate examinations in Upper Form 5 or Year 12 although for the more able students this is usually Year 11. The data above defines a pass as a grade of A, B or C which covers the range of marks from 50% - 100%. The pass rate is the number of papers passed divided by the total number of papers enrolled.

The national data indicates a decline from 1994 to 1996 then improved achievement from 1996 to 1998. The outer island students improved significantly between 1994 and 1998. Factors for improvement may include improved quality management systems, examinations no longer being scaled, decreased repetitions, high quality teachers in some subjects, students targeting specific subjects rather than enrolling in fully examinable courses and less able students not continuing on to the higher classes. The number of overage students has decreased significantly since 1996.

6.3.5 Literacy Rates of Grade 6 Students

Improved primary school literacy and numeracy rates are aims of the Education Sector Action Plan. Data from 1990 and 1997 indicate a possible marginal improvement (6%) in literacy, however no comparative data is available for numeracy.

The Pacific Islands Literacy Surveys (PILS) in English and Cook Islands Maori were conducted in 1990 and then conducted again in the same schools in 1997. The numeracy survey was conducted only in 1990. The survey involved Grade 6 students in selected schools in the Southern Group and Rarotonga. No Northern Group schools were surveyed.

1990 and 1997 PILS

1990

1997

English Literacy

87%

93%

Cook Islands Maori Literacy

81%

81%

Numeracy

75%

NA

Source : Withers, 1992 and Directorate of Audit and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Education, 1997

The data indicates a possible marginal improvement in English literacy since 1990 whereas literacy in Cook Islands Maori has remained unchanged. There is no post 1990 data to determine any changes in numeracy levels.

1990 PILS

Female

Male

English Literacy

88%

85%

Cook Islands Maori Literacy

91%

72%

Numeracy

78%

72%

Source : Withers, 1992

In 1990, females achieved higher standards than males in all 3 tests and were most significantly stronger in Cook Islands Maori. No gender analysis was conducted in 1997. The Cook Islands English Literacy mean was 4 % higher than the mean for all Pacific Island countries conducting the same survey in 1990. However the Cook Islands Numeracy mean was 12% lower than the same countries.

Sources : "Pacific Islands Literacy Levels", Graeme Withers, UNESCO Pacific, March 1992

"Trial Literacy Survey", P.Etches, Ministry of Education, 1997

6.3.6 Literacy and Numeracy Initiatives

During the last 5 – 10 years various literacy and numeracy related programs have been implemented by the Ministry of Education and community groups. These include :

the Early Childhood Policy Framework

the Cook Islands Languages Policy

new syllabuses for English and Mathematics

English and Mathematics Advisers funded by the NZODA TESP project

appointments of local English, Maori and Mathematics advisers

intensive inservice training courses

procurement of substantial quantities of text books, library books and other teaching and learning resources

the BELS program (UNDP, UNICEF and AusAID)

the Cook Islands Learning Disability Program

Te Araanga (AusAID)

PPSEAWA’s Reading Program

The AusAID sponsored Te Araanga (The Awakening) program stimulates language development through the use of story boards. Inservice courses on this teaching-learning technique have been conducted by a volunteer adviser and Ministry of Education Curriculum Unit staff in schools on Rarotonga and in the Outer Islands. The program has been supported by Australian aid funding of about $NZ 9, 400.

Source : Paddy Walker,Te Araanga Adviser, August 1999

The Pan Pacific South East Asia Women's Association (PPSEAWA) hold after-school sessions in the Cook Islands Library (Rarotonga), one day a week throughout the year. The program caters for an average of 30 children, and at times up to 50 children, with ages ranging from 3 to 13 years. Language development is developed through story telling and plays.

Source : Paddy Walker, PPSEAWA member, August 1999

6.3.7 Literacy Rate of 15 – 24 Year Olds

No goals were set for 15 – 24 year olds’ literacy rates and no survey has been conducted to determine the literacy rate for this age group in the Cook Islands.

A thesis by Karen Davis presented data on self reported proficiency by Cook Islanders studying in New Zealand tertiary institutions in 1997-1998. All 50 respondents had completed some or all of their schooling in the Cook Islands. The percentages of respondents claiming to have good or high proficiency in informal listening, informal speaking, reading and writing are tabled below.

 

English

Maori

Informal Listening

100 %

92 %

Informal Speaking

94 %

66 %

Reading

96 %

84 %

Writing

96 %

76 %

There is no assumption that the tabled data reflects the literacy rates of all 15 – 24 year olds in the Cook Islands. The data simply indicates the language proficiency of a group of Cook Islanders who are assumed to be mainly aged in the late-teenage to mid-twenty's age group and who are more academically talented than the majority of their peers. As such, it may be assumed that proficiency in English in this group will be higher than in the general population.

Source : "Cook Islands Maori Language in Auckland and the Cook Islands : a study of reported proficiency, patterns of use and attitudes.", Karen Margaret Davis, University of Auckland Thesis, November 1998

6.3.8 National Curriculum

An aim of the Education Sector Action Plan was the development of new syllabuses and a new national curriculum policy by 1994. A new national curriculum policy is yet to be developed but since 1994 new syllabuses have been developed for all cores subject areas and progress has been made on a number of optional subjects.

Delays in curriculum development have been due to Government’s policy that the Cook Islands curriculum be aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum Framework. Curriculum development in the Cook Islands, therefore, cannot be fully pro-active but must await, and then react to, the developments in New Zealand. Delays in NZ curriculum development have therefore resulted in little progress being made in the Cook Islands during the first part of the decade. However substantial progress has been made in the second half of the decade with the Education Development Project making a major contribution. Since 1994 new curriculum policies and/or statements have been produced for Early Childhood Education, Primary level English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science and Maori Language and Secondary level English, Mathematics and Science. A comprehensive Language Policy and policies for Agriculture, Hospitality and Business Studies have also been developed. A National Curriculum Framework policy is planned for completion in 2000.

6.3.9 Testing and Measurement

The Education Sector Action Plan aimed to develop and implement an improved testing and measurement system by end of 1994. By this date, the main development was the partial introduction of achievement based assessment into senior secondary schools. In the second half of the decade major advances have been made including the development in 1998 of a National Policy on Assessment.

Since 1997 the majority of Cook Islands colleges (those with senior secondary students) have been accredited by the New Zealand Qualification Authority to offer Unit Standards.

Literacy (English and Maori) and numeracy tests at the Grade 4 level were initiated in 1997 and fully implemented in 1999. These tests will now serve to monitor national standards as well as to provide schools with diagnostic information on individual students and overall school performance.

Standardised Tests of Achievement in Maori (Grade 5), English (Grade 6) and Mathematics (Grade 7) have been administered since the 1980’s but their validity is questionable as they are no longer closely aligned with the curriculum. Competitive examinations at Grade 6 level in English, Maori, Mathematics, Health and Social Science have been administered since 1990 but lack of standardisation does not enable the results to be used for national monitoring. A program to eventually standardise the tests at Grade 6 level was initiated in 1998. A database to monitor individual student achievement was also initiated in 1998.

6.3.10 Text books and Library Books

The Education Sector Action Plan aimed to improve school library stocks by the end of 1994 and to supply 12, 500 books to primary schools and 1,100 books to secondary schools. The target was achieved in 1998 and quantities far in excess of the original plan will be in schools by the end of 1999.

The initial target date of 1994 was not achieved due to the delay in the implementation of the ADB Education Development Project. The project began in 1995 and is now coming to its completion. By December 1999 the Project is expected to provide $US 120, 000 worth textbooks for primary education, $US 315, 000 worth of textbooks for secondary education and $US 100, 000 worth of library books for primary and secondary schools combined. Project Officers estimate an average price of $10 per book. This would result in over 50, 000 books being provided to schools or the equivalent of more than 10 books per pupil. The Ministry of Education proposes to continue to provide schools with books through the introduction of an annual text book / library book allocation of $NZ 5 per primary school pupil and $NZ 10 per secondary school pupil.

6.4 ADULT LITERACY

No goals for adult literacy were set in the Education Sector Action Plan.

The "Pacific Human Development Report", UNDP 1994, reported adult literacy rates of 96 % in 1980 and 99 % as the latest data available by 1994 with the rates for males and females being the same. A 99 % female literacy rate in 1995 was reported in UNICEF’s "The State of the World’s Children 1999".

However current Ministry of Education personnel are not aware of any reliable survey of adult literacy having been conducted in the Cook Islands, nor are they aware of any current programs that deal with adult illiteracy.

In 1998, the Language Panel, working in conjunction with the Curriculum Advisory Unit of the Ministry of Education, developed and attempted to conduct a Cook Islands Maori Language Survey. However insufficient surveys were completed to enable any meaningful analysis. (Goodwin, 1999)

In 1997-1998 a survey was conducted on language proficiency of Cook Islands tertiary students in Auckland, New Zealand. Of the students surveyed, 84 % claimed good-high proficiency in reading in Maori and 76 % claimed such proficiency in writing in Maori. 96% of the students claimed good-high proficiency in both reading and writing in English. (Davis, 1998)

The adult literacy rate in the Cook Islands is not known. Therefore the first initiative is to develop and conduct a valid survey that will provide Maori and English literacy data by island, gender and age. This data will then enable analysis to determine whether there are any significant problems with adult literacy.


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