International Education Projects: Ghana

USAID Partnership for Education: Testing (2012-2016)

Client/Agency

United States Agency for International Development

Description

As a task order under the EdData II project, RTI is administering the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) in Uganda to carefully evaluate student performance in foundational reading and mathematics skills, as well as using a student questionnaire to evaluate classroom and school management practices and students' family and socioeconomic situation. The sample includes approximately 550 schools, equally distributed over the 10 regions. Within each school, the project will test all P3 and P6 students, for a total sample size of between 40,000 and 45,000 students. Findings from the assessment will help inform Ghana's ongoing education reform process by understanding which foundational skills are being mastered and when, in addition to understanding classroom and school practices that may encourage or hinder this mastery of skills.

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Technical Assistance for Administration of the National Education Assessment in Ghana (2011-2012)

Client/Agency

United States Agency for International Development

Description

RTI is assisting the Assessment Support Unit within the Ghana Education Service to administer the fourth round of the biennial National Education Assessment (NEA). The NEA is a nationally and regionally representative measure of student competency in mathematics and English in primary grades 3 and 6. The 2011 NEA covers all 10 regions of Ghana, sampling 580 schools and testing as many as 60,000 students in the course of three days. The results of the test will be stratified by gender, by region, and by type of school (public vs. private). The assessment will also compare student performance between schools receiving direct USAID support and those that are not.

RTI's assistance includes selecting sample schools; updating training manuals for test administrators and monitors; conducting training of trainers; and assuring quality throughout test materials printing, packaging, distribution, and retrieval. To build the capacity of the Assessment Support Unit, RTI is helping to put in place systems and protocols to be used in this round of the NEA application and to help guide future applications of the NEA.

This assistance is provided as a task order under the EdData II contract.

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Data Capacity Assessment and Gap Closure Assistance (2010-2011)

Client/Agency

United States Agency for International Development

Description

A key pillar of aid effectiveness is countries taking ownership of designing and monitoring their development plans while donors align their assistance to support those plans. However, developing countries have struggled to generate a common dataset needed for national education sector planning. Under the Data Capacity Assessment and Gap Closure Assistance activity, RTI assessed host country systems' ability to collect, process, analyze and use a common set of education data.

The assessment was conducted in three countries: Ghana, Mozambique, and the Philippines. RTI staff conducted key informant interviews and reviewed existing documentation to rate the usage, transparency, and completeness of vital data systems, such as those covering student achievement, education finances, teacher supply and deployment, school administration, and household and business demands on the school system. When a system was found deficient, RTI evaluated the reasons for the deficiency.

The intention of the three pilot assessments is two-fold. First, produce a common framework to reviewing the capacity of host country data systems to promote coherent aggregate reporting on education sector progress, inform national education planning and donor assistance strategies, and measure outcomes against those goals. Second, using this framework, carefully review the countries' existing education data capacity and systems, and make recommendations regarding needed improvements. Following the assessments, RTI facilitates dialogue among stakeholders—government, civil society, and other donors—in many of the host countries about ways to close data gaps and streamline collection and reporting.

This pilot activity is being conducted through a task order under the EdData II contract and will yield best practices for application by other USAID Missions.

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