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Durham University

Research & business

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Improving Basic Education in Grade 1 in Lesotho: Pilot

A research project of the School of Education.


This project will investigate solutions to the challenges faced in providing teachers in Lesotho with information about their Grade 1 pupils through an assessment that is manageable to administer and results that are easy to interpret and usefully inform teaching.

We propose to work with a small number of schools to evaluate the feasibility and potential levels of improvement in children’s learning as a result of introducing an assessment for Grade 1 children with feedback for teachers on where to pitch their teaching and the opportunity to monitor progress. This project is an important first step towards implementation on a larger scale. The team in Lesotho is led by Dr Ajay Narayanan, head teacher of Cenez High School in Maseru.

We will use a well-established and proven assessment; iPIPS ( ). The assessment will be conducted by the teacher at the start and end of Grade 1, generating high quality information. The teacher can see and experience the child’s success during the assessment and has a detailed profile of what they know and can do. At the end of Grade 1, the teachers will see their pupils’ progress.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Improving Basic Education In Grade 1 In Lesotho: Pilot (£40000.00 from David and Elaine Potter Foundation)


From the School of Education

Further information

For further information, please contact Prof Christine Merrell.