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The USAID India Right to Read reading program was implemented between 2015 and 2017, by English Helper, with an extension in Maharashtra between 2017 and 2019.

The goal of Right to Read was to improve English language reading skills using an interactive program. EGR Barometer data for Right to Read were collected in 2018, representing the endline (last) assessment.

EGRA Subtasks

An EGRA measures children’s pre-reading and reading skills. 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.

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

  • 1/4

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

  • 2/4

    One percent students read ASER Standard 2 level text. Boys (1.4%) performed better than girls (0.6%).

  • 3/4

    The average oral reading fluency (ORF) rate for students was 2 correct words per minute (cwpm). Boys and girls performed about the same.

  • 4/4

    Eighty-seven percent of students were unable to read a single word of connected text. Boys and girls performed about the same.

Program Design

The program used digital English language textbooks to address the English language teacher shortage in Indian public schools. Teachers of subjects besides English are trained in English and teach the language to their early grade classes.

Evaluation Design

EGR Barometer data for Right to Read were collected in 2018. Data analysis shows achievement for students in grade 2 compared to those 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 (PDF, 2.8 MB) and Assessment Report and All Children Reading-Asia, Analysis of Early Grade Reading Assessment in India, Impact Assessment Report (PDF, 4.4 MB).

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