Year six students who participated in PILNA 2021 have had different schooling experiences from previous PILNA cohorts. Formal learning in the Pacific region has been significantly disrupted since 2019, when the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in periodic school closures throughout the region. Other health-related events and natural disasters, such as the measles outbreak in Samoa and the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption, have created further learning disruptions.
These events may have also had wider impacts on school-age children, such as changes to their mental health, community commitments, or their access to education, although further research is needed to validate any wider impacts of these events.
The 2021 year six cohort of students have had a smaller proportion of their total school years affected by these learning disruptions than the 2021 year four students, who may have been more affected by them. The effects of learning disruptions on students with more years of formal schooling compared with fewer years of formal schooling have not, however, been well established. Future research and analysis are needed in this area.
Importantly, PILNA 2021 is the first large-scale regional assessment to show the consequences of these disruptions. It has collected the information necessary to link learning disruptions to student performance. Analysis of this information will be undertaken in the near future and provided alongside the PILNA 2021 results when available.
In PILNA 2021, the numeracy performance of 19,563 year six students was analysed (9,875 girls; 9,688 boys), the reading performance of 19,602 year six students was analysed (9,913 girls; 9,689 boys), and the writing performance of 19,593 year six students was analysed (9,905 girls; 9,688 boys).
Read and learn more about the performance of year 4 students' performance in each domain here: