The UAE has
attained an increase in its levels pertaining to the PIRLS Examination in accordance
with the results showing that UAE had achieved 11 points during the last 2016
edition, and with this, UAE has surpassed all Arab countries participating in
the Examination, and is also one of more than 15 participating countries that
have registered an increase in performance, whereby the State participating
with a sample of 16,471 students from government and private schools all over
The UAE has also
participated for the first time in the ePIRLS with a sample of 14,720 students
from various government and private schools.
The PIRLS study
focused on assessing students’ reading abilities in grade 4, and to uncover the
elements and situations related to acquiring and practising basic linguistic
skills, and reading is considered one of the most important skills required by
students to accomplish educational advancement.
H.E Jameela Al
Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, stated that the advancement of
the UAE in this Examination is attributed to the efforts made by the Ministry
to achieve the State’s vision and agenda 2021, stressing that reading abilities
always take precedence with the Ministry, and in this context, the Ministry has
launched many reading initiatives to strengthen student’s linguistic
capabilities and enhance their reading skills.
The Ministry also concentrates on reading through supportive elements
within the updated academic curriculum which has made the formal Arabic
language the language used in classes, in addition to other steps taken by the
Ministry to instil the culture of reading in students by paying more attention
to learning resources and school libraries.
stressed that all national efforts are aimed towards the same goal and this is
very clear from the initiatives and programs launched by our wise leadership on
both a local and international level to blend the habit of reading as a daily
lifestyle instilled in all members of the community, especially students.
She mentioned that
the PIRLS study has become an effective tool used on a large international
spectrum to determine strong and weak points in the development of the academic
curriculum, as well as teaching to enhance reading skills.
pointed out that the PIRLS study is considered an important test which creates comprehensive
data to help educators and policy makers to develop evidence-based solutions to
improve students’ achievements in acquiring reading skills, which motivated us
in participating and committing to such tests and give it special attention
since the results influence improvement and development of education in the
Dr. Rabaa Al
Sumaiti, Assistant Undersecretary for Performance Improvement, that the IEA is
responsible for management of this study which aims at providing an action plan
to understand strong and weak points in teaching and development of the
academic curriculum and methods of teaching reading.
indicated that the study is conducted each five years and UAE’s first
participation was in 2011, mentioning that during the last edition in 2016, 50
countries participated therein, including UAE.
mechanism and importance of the test, Al Sumaiti stated that basic reading
skills are considered within the PIRLS examination as an interactive activity
consisting of an objective and a process, therefore, PIRLS focuses on assessing
students as readers capable of reading for many purposes, either for obtaining
information and utilizing the same or for the pure purpose of the enjoyment
gained out of reading novels.
She added: PIRLS
Examination also contributes to assessing the process used by students for
understanding, in addition to their skills in construing and creating
meanings. PIRLS focuses on an equal
level on assessing both the objective and the process along with testing the
same set of skills within each section.
She indicated that
the UAE’s average during the PIRLS 2016 edition reached 450 points, hence the
State’s average has increased by 11 points in comparison with the previous
edition in 2011. She considered this result less than its international
counterparts which reaches 500 points, however and at the same time, UAE
surpassed other Arabian countries with such an average and is also considered
one of more than 15 participating countries that have registered an increase in
She clarified that
the results showed that girl students had surpassed the boys in grade 4,
whereby girls scored 465 points while boys scored 436 points.
She mentioned that
students of participating countries undergo the same international examinations
after translating the same into their own teaching language and adapting the
same to conform with their respective culture, noting that in UAE, students
receiving their education in the Arabic language conduct the examinations in
the Arabic language, while students studying within international curricula
conducted the examinations in English.
indicated that the process of selecting a sample of students to participate in
the examination has two stages, the first of which includes the selection of
schools, and during the second stage, a random sample of students from all
schools are selected.
In the same
context, Al Sumaiti emphasized that UAE also ensured to participate in the
ePIRLS with a sample of 14,720 students from government and private schools
where it achieved 468 points.
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