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USAID’s Nurturing Early Learning reading program was implemented between 2015 and 2019 in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan, India, by Centre for Microfinance.

The goal of Nurturing Early Learning was to encourage teachers to use a child-centered approach to teaching, in which students actively learn sounds and symbols, reading with comprehension, and writing. EGR Barometer data for Nurturing Early Learning were collected in 2018, representing the endline (last) assessment.

EGRA Subtasks

An EGRA is a test students take that can measure their skill at both pre-reading and reading subtasks. The subtasks used in this assessment are described below.

Oral Reading Fluency (ORF)

The oral reading fluency (ORF) subtask measures how quickly and accurately a student can read. It is a core component of EGRA because it brings together lower-level reading skills (such as decoding and familiar word recognition) with how quickly and easily the student can read a given word (called automaticity).

Students were given a short, written passage on a topic that was familiar to them. They were asked to read it out loud “quickly but carefully” and were given 60 seconds from when they begin to read. The EGRA administrator timed the student, making note of any mistakes the student made while reading the words aloud. The score is reported as correct words per minute (cwpm).

Reading Comprehension

Comprehension is the main goal of reading—understanding what is read. Comprehension is a complex task that requires some ability in all other reading skills.

This subtask is paired with the ORF subtask. Depending on how much of the ORF passage the student was able to read, the EGRA administrator asks the student up to five questions about the story. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of questions answered correctly.

Year 2018
Grade(s) 2
Language Hindi, Kannada, Marathi
Assessment EGRA, ASER
Assessment Type Reading Program
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Districts Included in the Study

Not part of the study
States included in the study
Districts included in the study
Map of India

Key Findings

  • 1/3

    Results of the Karnataka Nurturing Early Learning intervention showed a small but positive increase in the percentage of students able to read ASER Standard 2 level text for students attending treatment schools, with a net impact of 2 percent (p<0.001).

  • 2/3

    Results of the Maharashtra Nurturing Early Learning intervention showed no statistically significant impact on the percentage of students able to read ASER Standard 2 level text.

  • 3/3

    Results of the Rajasthan Nurturing Early Learning intervention showed no statistically significant impact on the percentage of students able to read ASER Standard 2 level text.

Program Design

Nurturing Early Learning included in-class training sessions for teachers and increased access to libraries in both schools and communities for students.

Evaluation Design

EGR Barometer data for Nurturing Early Learning were collected in 2018. Data analysis shows achievement for students in grade 2 classrooms compared to students in a control group. Note that as baseline data were not collected, it is not possible to fully attribute differences between the program and control groups to the intervention.

More detailed information about this program may be found in All Children Reading-Asia, Analysis of Early Grade Reading Assessment in India: Initial Data Collection and Assessment Report and All Children Reading-Asia, Analysis of Early Grade Reading Assessment in India, Impact Assessment Report.