09.10.2012 - UNESCO Office in Apia

Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment

Literacy in action in Tuvalu (c) UNESCO Apia

This is a summary of the third update of Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Board of Educational Assessment to outline the progress made and the current status of literacy and numeracy testing and achievement in the Pacific region.

Nearly 900 schools in fourteen Pacific Island countries, including Tokelau but excluding Tonga, will be participating in PILNA this year.  Students from year 4 and year 6 will be involved in each country with the exception of Papua New Guinea where only students in year 6 will participate. Schools were selected through a process of exclusion and random stratified sampling to ensure a broad coverage.  Results from this year’s testing will be used to set the regional baselines for literacy and numeracy in the Pacific as well as to provide an indication of how well each country is achieving in literacy and numeracy levels for their students.  Trialing of the PILNA tests in literacy and numeracy was completed in 2011.

SPBEA has made every effort to ensure that the materials for the testing are available on time through the PILNA National Coordinators in each country and funds for transportation and delivery of the materials in each country is available.  Countries have confirmed dates for the PILNA testing within a given time frame of October 2012.   The PILNA administration manual clearly outlines standard procedures for the administration and marking of each test to increase the reliability of the data that is collected.

UNESCO and SPBEA are committed to supporting the scoring of each assessment as soon as it practicable after the assessment event. SPBEA officers will be available in each country to coordinate the scoring and leveling of student responses and to build capacity within each country in this area. The scoring and leveling process requires a panel of scorers and data officers.  A PILNA tracking form is provided to National Coordinators to enable them to track the movements of the PILNA assessment sheets from each school and in the National centre.  Accurate tracking and recording of these forms helps with country records as well as with SPBEA recording process.

SPBEA and UNESCO anticipate that the PILNA regional and country reports will be available for dissemination in 2013. 

This will be possible with the collaboration of PILNA test supervisors, school coordinators, national coordinators, scoring panel members and SPBEA. Information obtained from PILNA results will be crucial in planning for and monitoring student achievement in the region.

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