The PILNA is a regional test and in 2018 it was implemented in 15 Pacific Island nations, including Samoa. The PILNA test, for Year 4 and Year 6 primary students,was first implemented in 2012. As a response by regional governments to addressing the literacy and numeracy concerns raised by the PILNA, it was agreed that this assessment be carried out every 3 years. In October of this year, the third cycle of PILNA was implemented whereby a sample size of 118 schools in Samoa also took part. The sample took into account factors such as gender, the school location (i.e. urban or rural) and authority (i.e. government, private or mission). In total, about 3,000.students in Samoa took part in the PILNA.

As per 2012 and 2015 results for the Pacific Region, literacy and numeracy remain a priority for education in Samoa.Based on the PILNA 2015 recommendations, Samoa would like to see an improvement in the areas of number sense for numeracy, and writing skills for literacy.

The Education Quality Assessment Programme (EQAP) representatives from the Pacific Community (SPC) were in Samoa to lead the marking system of coding and data entry of Samoa’s 2018 PILNA tests. As per Samoa’s National Primary Assessments, SPELL and SPECA, the marking systems were similar with the intent of providing detailed information to support student learning. The PILNA plays an integral part in providing governments, and respective education systems, specific information to inform them of the strengths and gaps in literacy and numeracy learning areas. MESC was privileged to have the EQAP Director, Dr. Michelle Belisle, in Samoa to oversee the full process, as well as co-lead the literacy team of markers at MESC.

It is expected that the PILNA results will be made available to the 15 participating island countries, by mid-year 2019.

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