Literacy with WFP
The three year, literacy-focused Accelerator project was launched in January 2018. It will reach 45,012 students and 841 teachers in 135 Government Primary Schools and 11 Madrasas located in two sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar.What is Accelerator?
To assist the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in meeting its education targets set out in SDG4, UN World Food Programme (WFP) is implementing their 'School Feeding Programme' – an endeavor that combines 'health and nutrition' as well as 'literacy skills' components for children in pre-primary and primary schools.
USDA/WFP has entrusted Room to Read with the literacy segment of the endeavor. With permission from GoB's Ministry of Education, we are delivering engaging and evidence-based training for teachers to help improve their classroom instruction capacity. As part pf the project, we are supporting head-teachers and officials of the local government with governance, transparency and management practices.
All 87 Government Primary Schools (including 11 Madrasas) in Ukhiya and 59 in Kutubdia sub-districts are included in the project. Given our community-level program planning and review practices, every one of these schools and adjacent communities are our partners in the concerted effort to increase quality literacy and minimize school dropouts. On the statutory level, we are proud to be partners with the Government of Bangladesh and the following organizations:
We have developed 10 new storybooks by consulting the community people and working with local authors and illustrators. These richly illustrated titles feature stories local children can relate to and are awaiting Government signoff.
Through this project, we have organized teacher training on literacy, Bengali reading instruction, the management of classroom library, pedagogy etc. The local government officials and head-teachers also attended.
As the children begin to experience our scientific teaching methods in print-rich classrooms with a library established inside each – we hope to meet toddlers interested to share their experience with us. We will then bring the stories to you.
In the media
Project’s launching event hit local media and a few online media outlets. The ‘program consultation workshop’ with local government officials also made news. As the project progresses, we will be focusing stronger media engagement.
This project comes with many exciting targets – some enlist qualitative change while others are trackable numbers, ranging from training sessions to students’ level of competency. While we conduct an assessment for the latter, we're excited to share the data we have received on a few deliverables.
Over the course of three years, we will directly benefit 45,012 students (of Grade 1 & 2) in 146 institutions. At present, 38,052 (85% of our target) students attend school. We have included all of them in our project.
Early-grade teachers have received training on Bengali literacy instruction, pedagogy and library management. Head-teachers and local government officials of the education sector also received some of these training. We will be on-boarding 146 community mobilizers who will motivate community people to attend school activities, strengthen School Management Committee (SMC), and support teachers in holding literacy-focused events.
NOTE: The ‘target’ numbers (listed under A, B and C program components) are 3-year figures, and the figures in % represent how much of the individual tasks is accomplished. The numbers are of two types: (i) numbers that are to be achieved at the beginning of the project (for example, we have reached all 146 primary education institutions at once and will continue working there till year 2020), and (ii) numbers that would gradually grow and, as expected, match the 'target' figure as the project progresses (for example, we would print and distribute books throughout the project timeline, and also replace damaged/misplaced copies with new ones).
In October 2018, we will orient students at 58 schools in Kutubdia on how to become a book captain for their own class. Besides the ongoing trainings of Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers on Bengali instruction, our teacher trainers will go through a refresher training themselves. Our efforts on program monitoring will continue efficiently.
The project's advocacy around reading practices at schools and how to improve them will shape up as a district-level forum in November. We will also start measuring our first year of intervention in Cox’s Bazar. Moreover, we will assess students’ level of competency, and scale it up to an evaluation the project’s overall performance.
In December, we would bring trainings on effective governance practices to head-teachers and respective local government officials. Inputs from the local government offices will be sought during annual program review. Implementing partners alongside the funder(s) will be duly engaged in the review and planning process.
Project resources are listed in three categories. Do look at our new storybooks produced as part of the project. Below, you can browse for photos and videos highlighting the project's activities and the impact they are having in the lives of children and the community people. And here is our project brochure.