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An Uzbek student showcasing a school book.
Now Available: First-ever national reading results from an Early Grade Reading Assessment in Uzbekistan
December 22, 2022
Uzbekistan Stories

The Government of Uzbekistan's Ministry of Public Education conducted a national Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and math assessment in 2021 with support from USAID.

This large national assessment of student reading and math ability is the first of its kind in Uzbekistan. EGRA and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) methodologies were used to assess students in grades 3 and 5. The assessments were part of a broader effort by the Ministry to implement education reform. The data collected will inform the Ministry's plans to address gaps in student learning and strengthen the system to support foundational literacy and numeracy.

The Ministry assessed over 21,000 students at the start of grades 3 and 5. The EGR Barometer presents results of the reading assessments by the school’s language of instruction (Uzbek, Russian, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, or Turkmen), which in most cases is the students’ home language or “first language”. For non-Uzbek schools, students were assessed in the school’s language of instruction and in Uzbek as a second language. The results are nationally representative and for Uzbek schools, the results are regionally representative.

Key Takeaways from the National EGRA

The All Children Reading-Asia Report on the 2021 Uzbekistan National Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments (PDF, 1.6 MB) report outlines several key findings that have direct implication on the Ministry's education reform agenda:

  1. Consistent with global trends, girls read at higher rates than boys in both grades.
  2. Students studying in Uzbek as a second language read Uzbek at slower rates than students studying Uzbek as their first language, with the exception of students studying in Russian and Kyrgyz.
  3. Many students demonstrated a good understanding of a grade-level text. Grade 5 students studying in Uzbek scored on average 70% on reading comprehension.

Students have made significant progress in Uzbekistan in their foundational literacy skills. Now the focus is to strengthen the education system to support under-performing groups and improve reading comprehension.

Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program (UEEP)

To support the Ministry’s reform agenda, USAID is implementing a 4-year program (2019-2023) called the Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program (UEEP). The program has the following aims:

  • Improved Uzbek Language Arts and Mathematics outcomes in grades 1–4
  • Enhanced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) instruction for grades 5-11
  • Improved English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instruction in grades 1–11

The program will benefit all students in Uzbekistan by working with key stakeholders to produce learning standards, scope and sequence manuals, student textbooks, and teacher guides. The program will achieve these aims by focusing on capacity building, local ownership, inclusion, and sustainability.

The program will be piloted in about 900 target schools in Namangan and Sirdaryo regions. The pilot program will also support teacher professional development.

The results from the 2021 National EGRA for Uzbekistan serve as a baseline for UEEP and will be compared against the 2023 endline data to analyze program impact.

Photo: Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program

Read more about the Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program (UEEP)

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