The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) ‘Partnership for Education’ project has ended with a far-reaching impact, supporting about 700,000 pupils and 51,000 teachers during the eight years.
The project, which was launched in 2014 in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES), had an objective to improve reading performance for pupils in public primary schools across the country.
Valued at US$96.6million, the four main programmes implemented during the period include the Early Grade Reading Programme (EGRP), the Transition to English (T2E) Programme, the National Reading Radio Programme (NRRP), and the T2E plus programme.
The programme has, among others benefits, improved the capacities of teachers, head teachers, administrators and circuit supervisors to improve the quality of reading instruction in the classroom.
Under the National Reading Radio Programme (NRRP), the project developed and distributed English literacy instructional materials to children, an initiative that mitigated the impacts of COVID-19-related school closures.
Under the T2E initiative, it developed and distributed English and Ghanaian Language of Instruction (GLOI) teaching and learning materials (TLMs).
In addition, the programme has distributed over 14 million locally developed and context-relevant teaching and learning materials (TLMs), including braille – a system of writing and printing for sightless people, to over 16,000 primary schools.
USAID Mission Director – Ghana, Kimberly Rosen, during the national close-out ceremony to symbolise the successful completion of the programme, handed over the learning models to the MoE and the GES.
She commended the implementing agency, FHI360, for doing fantastic work; and expressed her satisfaction with the project implementation and the outcomes.
Minister of Education Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum assured that Ghana will leverage the success of the USAID Partnership for Education Learning project to transform education in the country.
“I call on all agencies under the Ministry of Education to uphold and maintain the culture and best practices established by USAID over the past nine years in the beneficiary schools.
“The better days of this nation’s education are ahead of us and not behind us. If we leverage what we learn from these partnerships, especially the partnership that we are celebrating today, we will create a more equitable society through education,” he said.
The Education Minister further emphasised the importance of ensuring that every child in this country, irrespective of where they found themselves, are given the opportunity to quality education resources to develop their full potential.
Key implementing partners and individuals who played a critical role were honoured for their hard work at the close-out ceremony held in Accra over the weekend.
Partnership for Education Learning Activity
While access to education has improved over the past decade, providing quality instruction remains a challenge, and many children fail to acquire basic literacy skills at the end of primary school.
To address these challenges, USAID’s education programme supported Ghana to improve accountability structures within the basic education system to ensure all actors fulfil their roles and responsibilities. This includes initiatives focused on strengthening teacher and school management capacity to deliver quality education to all students, and effectively implementing policies that contribute to increased education quality and decreased teacher absenteeism.
Since 2014, the USAID Partnership for Education, learning activity has focused on improving reading outcomes for children from kindergarten (KG2) to Basic 3, using a phonics-based approach. The activity has supported teacher training, the development of instructional materials, and the improvement of evaluation and monitoring systems in 11 local languages and English.
An activity to measure and evaluate the learning outcomes and use the data to improve school management that involved about 700,000 primary-grade pupils for basic literacy and numeracy skills indicated that after two years of the programme’s implementation, USAID’s early grade reading (EGR) programme substantially improved pupils’ reading skills in both English and GLOI.