Nigeria and 12 other countries in the global south completed a numeracy assessment last weekend to determine how well children aged 5-16 are learning.
The assessment in Nigeria, coordinated by TEP Centre, took place in Ikorodu Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State in 60 enumeration centres.
Speaking on the initiative at a press briefing, Managing Director, People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network, Dr. Sarah Ruto expressed pleasure that the network, an umbrella body of various organisations working on educational learning assessment in Asia, Africa and America were able to pull off the Citizen-Lead Assessment of Numeracy (CLAN) even when UNESCO said it was difficult to achieve.
She said: “When you look at most assessments of learning they are not directly comparable – even when you have counties that have a lot resources they have not been able to come up with directly comparable and items. And it was based on reading what more developed countries have been able to do that the UNESCO Institute of Statistics actually stated in one of their documents that this is a desirable thing.
“Since we have been together for almost 10 years now, we had gone through steps of coming up with data quality standards, it was actually possible for us to come together and do what other countries had thought is impossible.”
Managing Director, TEP Centre, Dr Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, said TEP Centre was excited to be involved in the CLAN assessment and expected it would generate interest with stakeholders and policy makers as its own LearnNigeria learning assessment programme of 2017 did.
“We also had interest on the data from the government. Recently, we were with the Lagos state government sharing this data and with them taking such a key interest in it because it is going to help them to move towards an evidence- based policy making.
“We saw that across the six states that we have implemented the LearnNigeria programme, there are substantial interests from the government. Some states said they wanted to include the data in their plans,” she said.
Speaking on why Ikorodu was selected, Bridget Azubuike, Programme Manager for CLAN, said the LGA fits into the requirement of being a rural area where education learning outcomes is average. She said they expected to assess over 3,000 children.
“In Ikorodu we have enumeration areas where the data collection happens. We sample 20 households and in each of 20 house hold we might see on average three children. So average we are to get about 3,600 children but so far we might not get up that number but largely almost 3,000 children.”
Gbenga Quadri, Partnership Development Management, CLAN, said apart from the international significance of the assessment, enumerators were able to give families of each child immediate feedback on their wards’ performance.