A standardised reading literacy assessment will be held three times per year is to be made mandatory across Dubai’s schools for the 2023-2024 academic year.
The emirate’s regulator, the KHDA, has stipulated that all students in the 6-15 age range will be required to sit a digital Reading Literacy assessment for Grades 1 to 12, and the Arabic Benchmark Test, from Grades 1 to 9 from the academic year 2023-24.
Guidelines released by the regulator 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
- interpretive and comparative analysis of passages
- application of understanding and critique of text
- comprehension of different genres, including poetry
It is not yet clear how the new tests will be used, but in the past the KHDA has used its tests and assessments to give schools the ability to benchmark their attainment and progress.
Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO- Principal, Credence High School told UAE newspaper, The Khaleej Times, that the assessment “should be external, standardised and reliable, and applicable for students across all curricula.
“These assessments should be aligned with the international definition of reading literacy, and [should] assess reading skills in line with those evaluated through international assessments, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).”