Schools across Liberia are receiving nearly 20,000 new books and other materials thanks to a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Advancing Youth Project, implemented by EDC, is distributing the books through a series of book fairs throughout the country.
A group of Pakistani educators taking part in the EDC-led USAID Teacher Education Project visited classrooms in Fairfax, Virginia to observe U.S. teaching methods. The educators are asked about the young Pakistani activist, Malala, and EDC’s Rana Hussain and Nadya Karim-Shaw are interviewed.
Twenty-four educators from across Pakistan, including college and university faculty, are visiting the United States this month to learn about curriculum development and teacher preparation, with a focus on U.S. student teaching programs.
The Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) aims to better prepare Kosovo youth for work in a growing market economy and for engaged citizenship in a developing democracy. To meet this goal, the YEP team will work together with selected market areas, engaging employers and other local, regional, and national leaders to blend together resources, skills, and policies for a sustainable system of opportunities and supports for out of school and out of work young people.
The HP LIFE e-Learning program, developed by EDC and HP together with a team of partners, includes free, interactive online courses to help budding entrepreneurs create, establish, and grow successful businesses. The program is being widely disseminated in time for Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 12–16.
EDC’s Akazi Kanoze youth livelihood program in Rwanda graduated its latest class of 3,037 trainees in a ceremony featuring the country’s first lady and minister of education. The four year project is targeting 15,000 youth by January 2014.
EDC was awarded a literacy innovation grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. EDC’s innovation will be piloted in the Philippine and centers on developing low-cost mobile phone technology to improve the collection and use of student reading performance data.
EDC is helping implement D-RASATI (“my studies” in Arabic), a comprehensive school improvement program in Lebanon, that impacts every public school, 276,000 students, and hundreds of teachers in the country.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today awarded EDC a literacy innovation grant as part of the international education competition All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development.
EDC has partnered with the Philippines Department of Education, Petron Corp., and the United States Agency for International Development to promote reading and professional development for teachers in the conflicted regions in Mindanao.
Drawing on their expertise in mobile learning (m-learning), EDC staff members will present several innovative ideas at the second annual mEducation Alliance International Symposium. The conference, which will focus on using mobile technologies to improve literacy and job skills and create partnerships, will be held September 5–7 in Washington, D.C.
The Somali Interactive Radio Instruction Program (SIRIP) provides high-quality interactive audio programs to Somali children attending formal, non-governmental, Quranic and community schools. With the assistance of the audio programs, teachers lead the classes and are thus trained in interactive teaching methods which include stories, activities, educational songs and other forms of active learning pedagogy. Supplemental materials accompany the programs, providing schools with the resources to support sound, primary-level instruction.
The Shaqodoon program was created to provide Somali youth with greater access to training, internships, work and self-employment opportunities in order to productively engage youth and add to the stability and development of the region. Shaqodoon is Somali for “jobseekers”.
What does it take to help youth be the best they can be? The Garissa Youth (G-Youth) Project in Kenya is helping one community answer that question by providing opportunities for education, skills building, and entrepreneurship. Listen as program participants and EDC staff discuss the ways in which G-Youth is opening doors to the future for the young people of Garissa.
Why he’s leaving: Mike Laflin, 65, has retired as senior vice president at Education Development Center, where he oversaw international-development programs. He had worked for the Waltham, Mass., charity for nearly 20 years. His successor is Larry Lai.
Background: After three years as an English teacher in his native Britain, Mr. Laflin taught in Kenya under a British aid program in 1972. The Kenyan Ministry of Education later transferred him to the school’s broadcasting service to write and direct educational radio programs.
Proudest accomplishment: Building a nationwide program that provided educational instruction over the radio to students in Zambia, which has lost many teachers to HIV/AIDS and where schools are scarce in rural areas. Communities organize sites where children meet for half-hour daily broadcasts for each grade, overseen by a local volunteer. Students who receive the radio instruction perform at the same level as their peers in conventional schools on tests for fourth graders. “It showed that there were other ways to meet the demand for education than just saying schools are the answer or we need to train more teachers,” says Mr. Laflin.
Challenges for international development: Mr. Laflin worries that the trend toward data-driven grant making, while understandable, is curtailing experimentation and research. “If you are looking for evidence, you’re by definition looking to the past or the present, but not to the future.”
What’s next: Mr. Laflin plans to return to writing and theater, interests he had to put aside because of the frequent travel his job required. In the early 1980s, Mr. Laflin co-wrote two musical comedies that were staged at Washington’s Folger Theatre. One of the plays was a huge success while the other was a flop, says Mr. Laflin. “That sort of told me, ‘Well, you can’t really do this and be going to Liberia every few months,’ ” he says. “They’re just not compatible.”