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Utilization of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) Tools for System Assessment

To :

Assistant Secretaries
Bureau and Service Directors
Regional Directors
Schools Division Superintendents
Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools Heads
All Others Concerned

  1. The Department of Education (DepEd) issues the enclosed policy guidelines on the Utilization of the EGRA and EGMA Tools for System Assessment as a basis for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) and Kindergarten to Grade 3 literacy and numeracy programs. This is to ensure quality implementation of MTB-MLE.
  2. DepEd recognizes the importance of measuring student learning outcomes over time. These student learning outcomes will be used as indirect indicators of effective and efficient implementation of curricular reform. Data gathered from the assessments shall inform policy-making, planning, and programming at the national and regional levels.
  3. For more information and inquiries, all concerned may contact the Director IV, Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), 4th Floor, Bonifacio Building, Department of Education (DepEd) Central Office, DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City at telephone nos. (02) 687-2948 and (02) 637-4347 or through email address: beedirector4@y ahoo. com.
  4. Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.


Bro. Armin A. Luistro FSC


I. Rationale

1. Literacy and numeracy skills development is one of the basic goals of elementary education.

2. One of the major curriculum reforms of the K to 12 Basic Education Program is the use of the Mother Tongue (MT) as the medium of teaching and learning (MOTL) through MTB-MLE to improve learning in Kindergarten to Grade 3 (K to 3). The MTB-MLE program was piloted in 921 schools all over the country in School Year (SY) 2011-2012. It was implemented nationwide in Grade 1 starting SY 2012-2013, and was rolled out in the succeeding grade levels in the subsequent school years.

3. Since the initial implementation of MTB-MLE, there have been efforts to gather data on reading competencies in the early grades through EGRA. These initiatives were performed by independent service providers. DepEd, however, recognizes the need to build its own capacity for collection and analysis of assessment data.

4. Sound assessment data is crucial for determining curricular reform implementation effectiveness. Measures of student learning outcomes will be used as one of the monitoring and evaluation tools that will allow DepEd planners and decision-makers to objectively evaluate system effectiveness.

5. There are three major assessment tools in K to 3: EGRA and EGMA from Kindergarten to Grade 3, and the Language Assessment for Primary Grades (LAPG) at the end of Grade 3. The EGRA and EGMA aim to track progress of learning or monitor the development of early literacy and numeracy competencies over time in selected Mother Tongues. The LAPG aims to evaluate the effectiveness of MTB-MLE instruction across all nineteen languages currently supported by the program. These assessments are based on the precept that the MOTL should be the language of assessment. These assessments aim to identify the state of learning outcomes in the early grades, when learners are expected to gain the foundational reading and mathematics skills upon which all later learning is built.

II. Scope of the Policy

6. This DepEd Order establishes a policy on EGRA and EGMA administration and utilization of EGRA and EGMA for monitoring and evaluating student learning outcomes in the early grades as basis for the assessment of the education system.

III. Definition of Terms

7. For the purposes of this Order, the following terms are defined and understood as follows:

A. Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) is an individually administered oral assessment that aims to assess foundational literacy skills of children in the early grades. It was adapted by the DepEd following international standards and guidelines.

B. Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) is an individually administered oral test that aims to measure the primary numeracy and mathematics skills of children in the early grades. It was adapted by the DepEd following international standards and guidelines.

C. Assessor is a DepEd personnel (teacher, school head, or supervisor) who has been trained to administer EGRA or EGMA following the standard procedures for test administration.

IV. Policy Statement

8. Data from the EGRA and EGMA shall be used to:

A. establish a baseline of literacy and numeracy performance of Kindergarten to Grade 3 students in selected MTs;

B. measure the effectiveness of curriculum implementation and MTB-MLE instruction in selected regions and schools divisions;

C. plan for evidence-based program management at the system level; and

D. identify literacy skills and competencies that are acquired by the early grade learners, as well as least learned skills and competencies that should be focused on instructional and/or intervention programs.

V. Procedure

9. The Assessment Tools


Following the tool adaptation standards and guidelines set by independent service providers, leveled versions (1 version each for Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 3; and 2 versions for Grade 2) of EGRA tools were developed by the DepEd in January 2015 in selected MTs: 1) flokano; 2) Sinugbuanong Binisaya,; 3) Bikol; 4) Waray; and 5) Chavacano. The primary skills assessed in the EGRA are described in Table 1.

Table 1. Primary Skills Assessed in EGRA

Sub-taskWhat is Assessed
Book and Print Knowledge
knowledge on book and print materials
Letter Name Knowledgeability to name letters of the alphabet
Letter Sound Knowledgeknowledge of the sound of each letter
Initial Sound Discriminationability to identify the first sound of each word
Familiar Word Readingability to read familiar or high frequency words
Non-Word Reading
ability to phonetically decode non-words or made up words
Oral Reading Fluency Passage and Oral Reading Comprehension
ability to quickly and accurately read connected text on a page and answer comprehension questions about what has been read
Listening Comprehension PassageAbility to listen and understand a passage being read
Dictationability to spell and follow mechanics of print such as spacing and direction of text, capitalization, and punctuation


In 2012, parallel versions of EGMA tools were developed in selected MTs: 1) Ilokano; 2) Sinugbuanong Binisaya; 3) Bikol; 4) Waray; 5) Chavacano; 6) Hiligaynon; and 7) Maguindanaoan. These were

developed by the DepEd with technical assistance from RTI International. The primary skills assessed in the EGMA are described in Table 2.

Table 2. Primary skills assessed in the EGMA

What is Assessed
Oral Countingability to rote count
Rational Countingability to count with one-to-one correspondence
Number Identificationability to identify written number symbols
Number Discriminationability to identify which number is greater in a given pair
Missing Numberability to discern and complete number patterns
Addition Level 1ability to apply basic addition facts with some level of automaticity and fluency
Addition Level 2ability to use and apply procedural addition knowledge to solve addition problems at increasing levels of difficulty
Subtraction Level 1ability to apply basic subtraction facts with some level of automaticity and fluency
Subtraction Level 2ability to use and apply procedural addition knowledge to solve subtraction problems at increasing levels of difficulty
Word Problemsability to use operations of addition and subtraction to solve a given problem
Geometric Pattern Completion
ability to discern and complete geometric patterns
Geometric Visualization
ability to visualize and discern shapes

10. Field Validation Process

To ensure validity and reliability of all versions of the EGRA and EGMA tools, a field validation of the said instruments was conducted. Field validation was done to establish grade level appropriateness of the tools, and to check if the language that was used to contextualize the tools were understood by the learners. Item analysis was performed on the data gathered from each MT version of the EGRA and EGMA tools and for each grade level. Items that were not reliable and valid were revised. The tools were finalized in June 2015.

11. Test Administration

The Bureau of Educational Assessment (BEA) in close collaboration with the Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), manages the assessment process for EGRA and EGMA.

A. Baseline Data Gathering

Baseline data gathering of Grade 1 students’ literacy and numeracy skills was conducted at the beginning of SY 2015-2016. A multistage sampling procedure was used to determine the schools divisions, schools, and students involved in the data gathering. Baseline data in literacy was gathered in the following regions: 1) Cordillera

Administrative Region (CAR); 2) Region V; 3) Region VIII; 4) Region IX; and 5) Caraga Region. Baseline data in numeracy was gathered in the same five regions, as well as in Region VI and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

B. Subsequent Data Collection

The current EGRA and EGMA testing design tracks the same cohort (identified through sampling) across the grade levels. Thus, the sampling procedure followed in the baseline data gathering must be followed in the ensuing EGRA and EGMA assessments. Ensuing data collection shall be scheduled at the beginning of every school year for the succeeding grade levels.

C. Assessors

Only trained EGRA and EGMA assessors can administer the said tools. This shall ensure the accuracy of the data (i.e., following the standard procedures of test administration, random sampling of students in a school, and data encoding and submission guidelines). See Annex 1 for the Terms of Reference of EGRA and EGMA assessors and supervisors. DepEd Central Office, through the BEA, shall manage the training of the assessors. The Regional and Schools Division Offices shall facilitate the selection and engagement of assessors during training and data gathering periods.

12. Data Submission and Processing

The trained assessors shall encode the assessment results immediately, and submit the results to the focal person in BEA within a month. BEA focal persons shall process the data, and forward these to an independent service provider. The independent service provider shall perform the data analysis. Data processing and analysis is approximately three (3) months.

13. Data Reporting and Dissemination

The independent service provider shall perform the analysis and technical report in close coordination with BEA. A copy of the final report shall be given to the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), and the participating regions and schools divisions.

14. Assessment data utilization

Data from the EGRA and EGMA assessments can be generalized to the population of schools in the region using the selected MT as MOTL. A report on the results of the assessment shall be provided to the concerned divisions and regions. The information provided shall be essential in making informed changes in teacher education and support, curriculum development, and implementation. Specifically, the data from the assessments can be used for the following purposes at all levels of governance:

A. Identifying teacher training needs

Develop teacher training programs on early literacy and numeracy instruction, assessment, and intervention to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

B. Monitoring MTB-MLE implementation The assessment data should be used for:

i. establishing regional benchmarks;

ii. adjusting policies and plans;

iii. determining resource allocation; and

iv. providing technical assistance to the schools and divisions related to improving teaching strategies and approaches to instructional supervision.

C. Initiating and conducting research on MTB-MLE instructional practices and learning environment provisions (i.e., instructional materials) that impact student learning outcomes.

D. Formulating policies and plans

Formulate evidence-based policies and plans for MTB-MLE implementation to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

15. EGRA and EGMA Management and Implementation

These assessments are managed by the DepEd Central Office (CO) under the Curriculum and Instruction strand. These assessments may be discontinued once relevant system-level evidence has been generated to inform policymaking and adjustments in programming.

VI. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

16. M&E on EGRA and EGMA Administration

To ensure the integrity and reliability of EGRA and EGMA data, monitoring and evaluation procedures should be followed. This is particularly important for the following processes:

A. Assessors’ training

Training supervisors should ensure that the protocols and procedures of the training are strictly followed.

B. Data gathering

Only the list of selected schools provided by the DepEd CO should be part of the sample. The prescribed student sampling procedure and test administration procedures should be strictly followed.

C. Data encoding and submission

The schedule of encoding and submission should be strictly followed. Technical assistance should be provided as necessary to ensure timely submission of data.

VII. References

Brombacher, A. et al. (2015). National Assessment of Learning Achievement at Grade 2: Results for Early Grade Reading and Mathematics in Zambia. Retrieved from www.eddataglobal.org.

Department of Education Memo No. 127, s.2014, “Administration of School Year (SY) 2014-2015 National Achievement Test (NAT) and Language Assessment for Primary Grades (LAPG)”.

Pouezevara, S. et al. (2013). PhilEd Data: Strengthening Information for Education, Policy, Planning and Management in the Philippines: Component 2: Early Grade Reading Assessment Results (Grade 3 English and Filipino, Grade 1 Ilokano). Retrieved from www.eddataglobal.org

UP NISMED. (2015). Results of the Field Validation of the Five Sets of the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment Tools.

UP NISMED. (2015). Results of the Field Validation of the Early Grade Reading Assessment Tools in Five Philippine Mother Tongues.

VIII. Effectivity

This policy effective SY 2015-2016 shall remain in force and effect, unless sooner repealed, amended, or rescinded.

Read: Roles and Responsibilities of EGRA and EGMA Assessors and Supervisors Assessor’s Responsibilities

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Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, from the Philippines, has significantly influenced the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access essential information and exchange ideas. His contributions have enhanced their instructional and supervisory abilities. Moreover, his articles on teaching have reached international audiences and have been featured on highly regarded educational websites in the United States.

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