Reading programs in Pakistan and Lebanon show promise
Early grade reading work is a priority at World Learning and our early grade reading approach ensures that all children are receiving an opportunity to learn how to read.
World Learning’s global education team is building reading skills for children in Pakistan and Lebanon through two USAID-funded projects: Pakistan Reading Project and the Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement Program (QITABI) in Lebanon.
We take a comprehensive system strengthening approach to improving learning outcomes where we support reading in four ways:
- facilitating activities to encourage reading at home and through the community,
- improving teacher training and coaching rooted in the principles of experiential learning,
- strengthening practices in the school by providing explicit and systematic instruction on reading skills,
- reinforcing the policy and systems for sustainability of the reading outcomes.
Through QITABI 79.4% of students in grades 1-4 have shown an improvement in at least one reading level and more than half the students (58.7%) are achieving grade level results.
Similarly, in Pakistan, World Learning has broadened the stakeholder base to include parents, families, and community members. This has resulted in an increased understanding of the importance of education and ownership of education for their community, by increasing their own financial contributions to support education for their community.
Rich exchanges during the first week of the MOOC
The Teaching Struggling Readers Around the World MOOC fits well within our approach as it was designed with policymakers, teachers, and caregivers in mind. Looking at the first week’s discussion, we see introductions like this one: “I'm from the Philippines where children reading readiness play significant role in the economic status of the country. I find this course interesting because I'm teaching in an ESL class and a mother of a child who has a learning disability.”
In order to ensure high quality discussions, the course is being facilitated by a team of volunteer facilitators around the world who are all reading experts.
Of the nearly 6,000 participants currently enrolled, there are representatives from the U.S., Pakistan, Lebanon, Nepal, Algeria, Zambia, India, the Philippines and many other countries! Knowing that our online courses attract participants from all over, care was taken to edit all readings and instructions to be comprehensible to participants with intermediate or better English proficiency.