The 2009 Tonga Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) was conducted in a sample of 1,203 students from 60 randomly-selected primary schools in the Kingdom of Tonga. The Tonga EGRA was carried out in November, 2009 by consultants and staff of the Ministry of Education, Women's Affairs and Culture (MEWAC) with financial support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID), and the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI). Technical assistance and management support was provided by the World Bank.
The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) is an oral student assessment designed to measure the most basic foundation skills for literacy acquisition in the early grades: recognizing letters of the alphabet, reading simple words, understanding sentences and paragraphs, and listening with comprehension.
The USAID Education Data for Decision Making (EdData II) project developed the EGRA methodology and has applied it in 11 countries and 19 languages. It has been adopted and used by other implementing partners in more than 30 other countries and more than 60 other languages. Data from EGRA have been used for feedback on teacher practice in rigorous but easy-to-understand ways. Many countries have shown an interest in using it as a springboard to improve reading, and have gone on to redesign their teacher training around reading.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
student, teacher, clusters of schools
All primary schools in the country.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Ministry of Education
Women’s Affairs and Culture
Technical assistance and management support
Global Partnership for Education
Australian Agency for International Development
New Zealand Agency for International Development
Education for All – Fast Track Initiative
Random stratification of schools by district; random selection of students among all classrooms in a grade tested.
On October 12 and 13, 2009, a series of preparatory meetings took place to discuss the scope and purpose of the survey. MEWAC was mainly interested in generating baseline data on average reading skills in Classes 1 to 3 to (a) identify areas where additional instruction is needed, to (b) inform the establishment of reference reading standards that can help educators monitor student's reading progression throughout the school year. With advice from the World Bank, MEWAC chose a national representative sample with contrast groups according to class level (Classes 1, 2, and 3). The final sample design did not incorporate contrast groups by school type and regions, thus, survey results can only suggest estimates by class level and gender.
The target population was defined as students enrolled in Classes 1 to 3 in primary schools implementing the national curriculum in Tongan language. Using the 2008 School Census completed in March of 2009 as a sample frame, a sample of 60 schools was selected using a stratified random design with proportional allocation based on school type -single-class (SCT), composite-class (CCT), and multi-class (MCT)- and region, to ensure all school types and regions would have a probability of selection equal to their actual distribution in the country. The final sample consisted of 1,203 students -607 girls and 596 boys- which reflects the gender parity characteristics of the target population.
For the 171 teachers surveyed, the overall response rates to the survey items are above 86%. For the 1,203 students in the sample, the overall survey response rates are above 93%.
Data entry took place between January 25 and February 05, 2010.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download.
United States Agency for International Development, RTI International. Tonga Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) 2009, Ref. TON_2009_EGRA_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [url] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.