Vamos Ler! Let’s Read! Program
The Government of Mozambique has committed to improving its early grade literacy outcomes through expansion of its national bilingual education program. With the rollout of bilingual education training and a revised bilingual education curriculum in 2016-2017, the government hopes to reverse the worrisome trends plaguing its school system: fewer than half of Mozambican children complete primary school, and rates of teacher absenteeism are some of the highest in the world.
But the government faces a host of challenges as it works toward reform. The country lacks a coordinated policy approach for both Portuguese and local language instruction. It has insufficient capacity to design new programs and limited data on which to base them. Schools have gaps in resources including local-language reading materials and a limited number of trained teachers and administrators. Teachers, educators and parents require engagement and awareness of the value of learning to read in the local language.
The Mozambique Vamos Ler! (Let’s Read!) program–which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development–is designed to develop bilingual education pedagogical tools and activities, improve national early grade literacy policies and delivery and monitoring systems, enhance school leadership and increase parental and community engagement in early grade literacy. The five-year, evidence-based project is building the government’s ability to create policies, tools and approaches to early grade literacy that are flexible, results oriented and affordable.
Let’s Read! assists the government in delivering a quality bilingual education program for first, second and third grade students in the provinces of Nampula and Zambezia, where a baseline assessment revealed more than 90 percent of second graders could not read two words in Portuguese. Based on classroom analysis, data and best practices, the project works alongside government counterparts to develop instructional tools and learning materials in the local languages with oral language development and transition to Portuguese reading and writing in the fourth grade.
Taking a holistic “whole child, whole teacher, whole school, whole system” approach, Let’s Read! is gathering critical data to inform policies and improve student performance, with the aim to institutionalize and sustain a bilingual early grade literacy package that the government can use to optimize learning, equip teachers, involve communities and transform schools into responsive centers of learning, care and support.
Creative is implementing the program in partnership with international organizations with expertise in strengthening education approaches and policies. These groups include the World Education, Inc., American Institutes for Research, Overseas Strategic Consulting and Blue Tree Group.
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