LUSAKA – On December 15, the U.S. government handed over 5,000 tablet computers and more than 2 million readers, teachers’ guides, and other teaching and learning materials to the Ministry of General Education (MoGE). These tablets and materials will benefit approximately 20,000 teachers and 1.4 million learners in Early Childhood Education (ECE) through Grade 3 in five target provinces across the country. By 2024, the USAID Let’s Read Project will provide more than 5 million books and other learning materials in the seven official languages stipulated by the MoGE to over 4,600 public and community schools.
“The provision of textbooks and other teaching and learning materials is central to the quality delivery of education. Lack of high-quality learning materials affects learner performance, and this can be seen in the low literacy levels for learners from ECE to Grade 3. We are grateful that USAID is supporting teachers by collaborating with the Zambian government to combat this scarcity,” said Catherine Chileshe, Grade 2 Teacher, Mwaba Primary School, Chinsali District, Muchinga Province, Zambia.
The U.S. government’s distribution of these materials will take place this December during teacher training workshops led by the MoGE for nearly 10,000 teachers. Each of the schools benefiting from the project will receive a tablet to record pupil performance in standardized classroom assessments, which will be tracked over time. The tablets are installed with several teaching and learning applications and will help teachers capture, aggregate, display, and monitor learner performance through school-based assessments. School-level data will be available via the Performance Tracking System, a public dashboard that can be accessed by all education stakeholders, including parents and communities. Schools, working closely with provincial and district level MoGE Officers, will use this information to proactively address challenges that have a direct impact on learners being able to read at grade level.
To date, USAID Let’s Read, in collaboration with the MoGE, has supported literacy instructional training for over 18,000 head teachers and Grade 1-3 literacy teachers from 4,600 GRZ and community schools in over 60 districts. Furthermore, working closely with MoGE, USAID Let’s Read has established private-sector partnerships with three mobile network operators: MTN, Airtel, and Zamtel. These partners are providing data services to support the roll-out of the Performance Tracking System. In the long-term, these partnerships represent an integral part of sustainable, quality education in Zambia.
For more information about this press release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Zambia Press Office at ZambiaPress@state.gov.
USAID Let’s Read (2019-2024) is the U.S. government’s flagship education program in Zambia. This five-year partnership with the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) aims to improve reading outcomes for approximately 1.4 million children enrolled in ECE to Grade 3 from approximately 4,600 public and community schools in five provinces. USAID Let’s Read is part of the USAID Primary Learning Project, a five-year, $84 million partnership with the MoGE to improve primary learning outcomes. The Project consists of five discrete, complementary, and interrelated components. The Teaching at the Right Level/Catch-Up Program supports the MoGE’s efforts to improve remedial literacy and numeracy instruction for children in Grades 3 – 5 in two provinces. The Transforming Teacher Education Program aims to strengthen the capacity of Zambia’s Colleges of Education and universities to equip primary school teachers with practical teaching skills linked to Zambia’s primary literacy curriculum. Through the Edufinance Activity, USAID leverages private resources to increase the quality of service in low-cost private and community schools. Finally, the USAID Education Data Activity partners with the MoGE and the Examinations Council of Zambia to gather and use data and measure academic performance through national educational assessments, and supports targeted education research. Taken together, the USAID Primary Learning Project promotes a systems approach to support Zambia’s efforts to deliver quality primary education, so that future generations of primary school children acquire the skills and content knowledge to succeed in school, and in life.