TaRL programmes have the potential to shift education systems to focus on foundational skills at the primary school level. By tracking these skills, officials get information on the foundation of learning and are able to better support teachers in ensuring this foundation is solid. This is particularly powerful in systems which tend to automatically promote children to higher grades and focus on high-stakes examinations at the end of primary school.

In TaRL programmes, child-level data is collected and immediately used by instructors to group and teach children. At an area or district level, data is aggregated to make it easier to review and get a snapshot of what children in the area, district, or province can and cannot do. This aggregate data can be used to make decisions about which schools or districts need greater support, to identify problems with TaRL implementation, and to make decisions about TaRL programming.

Highlighting the importance of foundational skills

Creating testing tools developed around achievable foundational skills is a key component for building education ecosystems which place the child at the centre. Testing foundational skills signals to schools, teachers, and head teachers that foundational skills matter and makes them aware that they are lacking. The simplicity of the testing tool means that its use extends beyond the classroom, allowing parents and community members to understand their children’s learning levels and to advocate for foundational skills.

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