Timor Leste 2011 Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) : baseline report (English)Abstract
In 2011, the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education, with assistance from the World Bank and Ausaid, conducted the first Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) survey in Timor-Leste. More than 1200 students in sixty five schools were surveyed in Grades ... See More +In 2011, the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education, with assistance from the World Bank and Ausaid, conducted the first Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) survey in Timor-Leste. More than 1200 students in sixty five schools were surveyed in Grades One, Two and Three. The analysis of the EGMA 2011 Timor-Leste baseline survey calls for an immediate response to safeguard the educational future of young Timorese students. Although students perform well in basic, Phase Zero mathematics skills such as oral counting and correspondence counting, Phase One skills (number identification) shows signs of slow gains. Later manipulative and calculation skills, i.e. those in Phase Two and Phase Three (quantity discrimination, missing numbers, word problems and arithmetic) are poorly understood and used by Timorese students. After three years of schooling, Grade Three students can only answer forty six percent of simple subtraction problems correctly on average and only seventy two percent of addition problems, all of which should have been understood by the end of Grade One. The low ability of Timorese students to handle basic numeracy puts in doubt their ability to cope with an increasingly stringent curriculum in later years. Language use was one of the most concerning aspects of mathematics education revealed by the survey. Although the main language of the classroom is Tetum, students’ mathematics textbooks are in Portuguese. Some students did not speak enough Tetum or Portuguese to complete the survey without aid of a translator for their local languages. This linguistic diversity within the classroom indicates that further research into how Timorese students learn and in which languages is required. In terms of factors that showed positive association with early mathematic abilities, the participation in daily mathematics lessons, working with others in those lessons and doing homework were all associated with statistically significant improvements in mathematics outcomes at the ninety five percent level. See Less -
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