Pacific-Wide Assessment Shows Improvements In Region’s Schools

Girls outperforming boys in both numeracy, literacy

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 29, 2016) – A Pacific-wide study has shown students' literacy levels are lagging behind their numeracy levels but there has been improvement over the past four years.

The results from the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment are being released today in Fiji.

The previous test in 2012 revealed that just three out of 10 pupils achieved basic literacy levels while five out of 10 achieved basic numeracy levels.

This time, more than 45,000 year four and year six students from around 700 schools across 13 countries took part in the largest assessment ever, and Michelle Belisle from the Pacific Community said she was happy to see the improvement.

"They're showing growth across the region in numeracy and some improvement in literacy," she said.

"There's been a lot of work put into student learning in literacy and numeracy and student outcomes in general and it's having an impact."

Michelle Belisle said the results also reveal that basic writing skills need improvement.

Girls still out-performing boys

The assessment also revealed girls are still faring better than boys in both literacy and numeracy.

Ms Belisle said girls continue to perform better than boys, particularly at reading and writing, and more research was needed to find out why.

"I think we owe it to the students of our region to do everything we can to help ensure their success, male, female, whether they're low achieving or high achieving we need to do our best to help the students reach their full potential," she said.

"And if we pay attention to what the data is telling us, certainly we have to investigate why there are differences and what's behind those differences."

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