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The USAID Sindh Reading Project (PRP) is a 7-year national basic education program connected to the Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) and was implemented from 2013 to 2017 by the International Rescue Committee. The project was implemented in six Sindh in two languages: Sindhi and Urdu.

The goal of SRP and PRP was to improve the reading skills of children in Pakistan through improved access to quality education. This EGR Barometer data for Sindh was collected in 2013, representing the baseline (first) 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).

Orientation to Print

The orientation to print subtask is a measure of concepts of print. It is considered one of the lowest order skills students develop as they begin to learn to read.

The subtask is administered by asking students questions such as how to hold a book or where the text begins. The orientation to print score is the total correct answers, with a maximum possible score of five.

Letter Names

The letter names subtask tests students’ ability to recognize letters and accurately speak their corresponding name.

The students were presented with a grid listing 100 letters in a random order. Students were asked to read out loud as many as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could, in 1 minute. The EGRA administrator timed the child, making note of any mistakes the child made while calling out the letter names. The score is reported as correct letters per minute (clpm).

Nonwords

The nonword subtask tests students’ skill in using letter-sound connections to figure out (“decode”) words. While many students learn to memorize a broad range of "sight" words, they need skills to decode less-familiar words.

In this subtask, students were given a list of 50 made-up words that do not exist in the language tested but follow a typical spelling/sound combination of the language. This ensures that the student is not recognizing the whole word and must “sound-out” the non-word in order to correctly read it. The student asked to read out loud as many as they could, as quickly and carefully as they could. The EGRA administrator timed the student and recorded the number of correct words per minute (cnwpm).

Familiar Words

The familiar word reading subtask is similar in format to the nonword reading subtask except that it presents the student with a grid containing 50 words they are expected to be able to read at their grade level and have likely encountered before.

The students were instructed to read aloud as many words as they could in 1 minute. 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).

Listening 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.

In this subtask, the EGRA administrator read a passage to the student, who did not see it. The student then responded to questions or statements read by the EGRA administrator. The listening comprehension score is the total correct answers, with a maximum possible score of three.

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 asked the student up to five questions about the story. The EGRA administrator recorded the number of questions answered correctly.

Year 2013
Grade(s) 3, 5
Language Urdu
Assessment EGRA
Assessment Type Reading Program
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Districts Included in the Study

Not part of the study
Districts included in the study
Map of Pakistan

Key Findings

  • 1/4

    In Sindh cohorts 1 and 2, the average oral reading fluency (ORF) rate for Sindhi-speaking students in grades 3 and 5 were 32 and 66 correct words per minute (cwpm), respectively. Boys and girls performed about the same in each grade.

  • 2/4

    In Sindh cohorts 1 and 2, 26% of Sindhi-speaking grade 3 students and 11% of Sindhi-speaking grade 5 students were unable to read a single word of connected text. Boys and girls performed about the same in each grade.

  • 3/4

    In Sindh cohorts 1 and 2, the average oral reading fluency (ORF) rate for Urdu-speaking students in grades 3 and 5 were 30 and 70 correct words per minute (cwpm), respectively. Girls performed better than boys in grade 5 (85 cwpm vs. 53 cwpm).

  • 4/4

    In Sindh cohorts 1 and 2, 36% of Urdu-speaking grade 3 students and 15% of Urdu-speaking grade 5 students were unable to read a single word of connected text. Boys and girls performed about the same in each grade.

Evaluation Design

This EGR Barometer data for SRP represents the 2013 baseline EGRA data. Separate samples were drawn for schools depending on whether the primary language of instruction was Sindhi or Urdu. These two groups are reported separately.