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Reading Literacy assessment mandatory for School students

Reading Literacy assessment

A reading literacy assessment that will be held three times per year has been officially mandated by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) for all students in the 6-15 age.

All schools in Dubai will participate in the digital Reading Literacy assessment for Grades 1 to 12, and the Arabic Benchmark Test, from Grades 1 to 9 with effect from the academic year 2023-24.

Peter Bonner, Assistant Principal Primary – Curriculum, Progress and Assessment, GEMS World Academy – Dubai says, “As per new KHDA guidelines, all students in the 6-15 age range are required to sit a standardised reading literacy assessment three times per year.

The guidelines state that tests must assess reading skills across a range of domains, with appropriate age-related emphases, including, but not limited to:

  • phonemic awareness
  • word recognition and phonics
  • reading comprehension
  • fluency
  • vocabulary
  • interpretive and comparative analysis of passages
  • application of understanding and critique of text
  • comprehension of different genres, including poetry.”

Bonner adds, “Schools have the flexibility to select a reading assessment platform and provider that is appropriate for them and their context, as long as these meet the above requirements.”

Assessments, he said, must be “computer-adaptive, and results should show each student’s reading age in comparison to grade/age expectations, and also a Standard Age Score (SAS) to facilitate comparison of data.

They should allow a detailed analysis of results, which is then used to support identification of individual student needs and how these drive interventions with all students.”

Headteachers explain this is part of the UAE’s commitment to maintaining high standards of education, and institutions are piloting these assessments in a few grades and sections based on random selection.

This is expected to help schools establish a baseline of students’ cognitive potential and achievements over time, and to facilitate necessary modifications to their learning.