The Djibouti Early Grade Reading Activity is improving the reading skills of more than 55,000 children in primary school level (grades 1–5). The project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is contracting with partner organizations School to School International, Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd., and the Center for Applied Linguistics.
The project engages leaders from the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training along with civil society organizations to use inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches to improve three components of the current education system: enhancing the quality of primary reading instruction, increasing community engagement in support of reading and developing comprehensive policies for reading.
The project provides all primary students and teachers with materials that include teacher guides, textbooks, student workbooks, and reading materials. Djibouti’s 1,300 primary school teachers receive individualized professional development that helps them provide quality reading instruction through evidence-based approaches in second-language learning, gender-sensitive and inclusive teaching practices, and continuous classroom assessments of students’ reading skills.
The project builds the capacity of parent-teacher associations and civil society organizations to extend learning outside the classroom through community-based reading activities. In addition, the project uses social behavior change communications to build broad-based support for reading for all children, particularly for girls and children with disabilities.
Education policy development
The project and the ministry are establishing a technical commission on reading, which will serve as the hub for data-informed policymaking using project-created data dashboards and a database of studies. The project is also creating standard norms and benchmarks to support the ministry in setting reading goals.