Reading for Academic Skills and Individual Development in Middle Schools

In Morocco, international reading tests have shown consistently low reading performance among middle school students. Morocco’s national assessment revealed that only 25 percent of eighth grade students were able to distinguish the main idea of a basic text, and only 4 percent could summarize its content.

Middle school is a key time to improve and master critical reading comprehension skills, but middle school teachers often lack the skills and resources needed to bring struggling students up to grade-level reading performance. Students are presumed to have already mastered reading comprehension skills by the seventh grade. This means struggling students fall further behind and may ultimately drop out of school.

Creative worked with the Moroccan Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to boost reading comprehension in middle schools through the Reading for Academic Skills and Individual Development in Middle Schools (RASID). The project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The eight-and-a-half month project strengthened reading comprehension in middle schools by training master trainers—including school inspectors and teacher training college instructors—on best practices to integrate effective reading comprehension instruction into existing middle school curriculum.

By implementing action plans, these master trainers trained educators nationwide and provide ongoing coaching support as teachers bring reading comprehension strategies to life in seventh to ninth grade classes.

The program ensured the instructional techniques were readily mastered by teachers and easy to implement in the classroom. Trainers, coaches and teachers received a comprehensive Arabic-language Enhanced Reading Program kit with guidebooks and materials, containing sets of activities and explicit guidance for incorporating reading instruction into the middle school curriculum, assessing student learning and creating a “reading-conducive” environment.


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