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CARICOM moves to harmonise literacy data

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is forging ahead with a programme designed to harmonise the measurement of literacy data to advance the production of reliable information for better decision making in this area, the regional headquarters said on Wednesday.

Education officials, statisticians and other experts gathered in Barbados on Tuesday and Wednesday for the CARICOM Fourth Technical Workshop on a Common Framework for a Literacy Survey under an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Regional Public Goods Project.

The project which is being conducted in phases saw workshops in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados respectively to familiarise participants with the theoretical and practical aspects of literary assessments and the critical importance of literacy measurement in policy formation. Those workshops had also streamlined the key deliverables of the common literary framework for the Region and an Action Plan to ensure its implementation.

As this phased approach to harmonised literary data collection unfolded, Member States were given opportunities to discuss various survey instruments, and to consider relevant issues pertaining to the next phase of the project.

Against this backdrop, the meeting in Barbados is expanding on the work done so far, focussing on recommendations for the improvement and finalisation of the regional survey instruments as well as other features including methodology, training guides and an interviewer’s manual which is expected to guarantee the harmonisation of literacy data collected in the future. Work expected to be done in the third phase of the project is also being considered in Barbados.  

Efforts are ongoing to assist Member States with implementation through the development of National Implementation Plans for the conduct of at least two literacy surveys that is expected to produce sound and comparable literacy statistics across the Caribbean Community.