Over 80% of Year 7 students’ reading skills not up to mark

National 2 minutes, 4 seconds


MORE than 80 per cent of Year Seven and Year Eight students from Rimba II Secondary School have the ‘English Native Reading Ages’ of nine and below, as shown by the school’s newly established Literacy Programme.

Managing Officer of Numeracy and Literacy at the school Adrina Hj Mohd Agus Din told The Brunei Times that the study was conducted in January where they tested all of the school’s Year Seven to Year 11 students.

Students studying in Year Seven are usually around 12 years old.

She said that they used a United Kingdom Reading Test that determined the student’s reading age compared to an English native speaker.

“The reason why we wanted to know their reading ages is because the O-Levels Examinations are actually for English native speakers between the ages of 14 and 18,” she said.

Through the study, the school has categorised students into three groups with red being students who were reading at the age of nine and below.

Students grouped in yellow are students who were reading at the age of 11 and below and green are for students who are reading at the age of 11 and above.

The results showed that although the bulk of the percentage of Year Seven and Year Eight students were grouped in red with 81 per cent and 83 per cent respectively, Year Nine through Year 11 students’ reading ages were better in comparison.

About 62 per cent of Year Nine students were categorised as red, while 58 per cent and 40 per cent of Year Ten and Year 11 students were identified as red respectively.

“We are really concerned about their reading ages because how do you get a child to improve from Year Seven?” said Adrina. “For example, say a student from Year Seven was reading at the age of seven years old, by the time the student reaches Year Ten, he or she will only be able to read at the age of ten years old,” she added.

She said that through the Literacy Programme, the school is trying to instill the love of reading in their students, adding that if the student develops a passion for reading then he or she will be able to become independent learners.

Within the programme, students will be exposed to extensive reading programme as well as an intensive reading programme. The programme aims to increase the reading ages of students’ at all levels by 10 per cent upon completion of the third phase which will be conducted from July until September.

The Brunei Times