ScienceQuest was a unique after-school program that supported community-based organizations who wanted to increase staff and organizational capacity; assisted youth (ages 10–14) in learning science, technology, and literacy; and increased the youths’ positive experiences with learning. Through training in I-Search methods and ongoing in-person and electronic support, coaches lead small groups in personally relevant explorations documented through youth-designed Web sites.
CC&F/EDC developed and launched a major region on the PBS Parents Web site that helps parents promote the language and literacy development of their children from birth through age 8. CC&F/EDC continues to add resources and further articles on language- and literacy-related topics, such as parent-child book clubs and using computers with young children.
The Zambia QUESTT Project aims to improve the quality of basic education delivery systems and to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on children’s educational experiences (both in and out of government schools). To accomplish these objectives, QUESTT is leading several initiatives to improve teacher practice through the integration of Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) in government schools and technology-based interventions. These interventions include the use of video and cell phone communication for both in-service and preservice teacher support.
dot-EDU was an information and communication technology (ICT) intervention mechanism for USAID Missions seeking to improve education systems in their respective countries. dot-EDU sought to assist developing countries in strengthening learning systems that improve quality, expand access, and enhance equity through carefully planned applications of digital and broadcast technologies. The dot-EDU mission had two foci. First, dot-EDU provided training and technical assistance to support USAID Missions in developing and implementing technology-assisted applications.
Literacy and Community Empowerment Program (LCEP) is an integrated community development initiative that includes components in literacy, capacity building for income generation, and local governance in Afghanistan. Within the literacy component of LCEP, EDC is responsible for two interrelated subcomponents: the establishment and ongoing development of a Women’s Teacher Training Institute in Kabul and the implementation of the Afghan Literacy Initiative.
Through the Education Quality for All (EQUALL) project, EDC and our partner organizations implement activities designed to strengthen the quality and expand the coverage of complementary education in Ghana, and to create stronger linkages between nonformal and formal basic education programs. This effort will result in increased access to basic education for children—especially girls—who have not had the opportunity for schooling due to social, occupational, cultural, or other reasons; and in increased learning outcomes among participating children.
GSDL provides high-quality digital resources to: (1) help educators promote interest and engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education by learners of all ages, particularly females; (2) encourage learners to pursue science education and future careers in science; (3) provide an inter-disciplinary examination of the role of gender in the creation, teaching, and learning of science; and (4) build community among all interested users for the purposes of inquiry, information exchange, best practices development, and mentoring.
Working in collaboration with Save the Children, EDC is using its existing organizational structures in Blantyre to design and produce a minimum of 10 audio programs as part of an IRI pilot program for strengthening Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Malawi’s Community Based Child Care Centers (CBCCs). During the pilot phase, EDC is overseeing the full development of ECDIRI programs; this includes scriptwriting, studio production, collaboration with Save the Children on pilot roll out, and formative evaluation of lessons.
A free electronic tool that quickly and accurately measures the reading progress of young children is now available for use by teachers in the developing world. An adaptation of USAID’s paper-based Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), eEGRA was created by EDC and runs in Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software.
“I can really see big, big changes because of this Whole School Reading Program.” So says Luvelia St. Bernardo, principal of the Cawit Elementary School in Zamboanga City, Philippines. The key to the EDC-operated program, which has shown powerful results in improving reading, is getting the whole school involved.
“I have never seen students in such a hurry for the sun to rise so they can go to school,” says Broulaye Sangar of the young participants of an EDC program working to improve schools in Yanfolila, Mali. The community is thrilled with the results of the program: Students are reading better, more girls are attending school, and there are fewer absences.
EDC will cohost a symposium on education in international development, sharing the lessons learned from a decade of working with youth as part of the portfolio of USAID-funded programs known as EQUIP. The symposium, “Informing the Future: Ten Years of Experience in Global Education in Development,” will be held Tuesday, November 8, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded EDC $22 million over five years to assist the Ministry of Education in Rwanda in creating new national standards for literacy and numeracy. EDC will implement the Literacy, Language, and Learning Initiative, to be known as L3, which also aims to improve education in grades 1 to 4.
EDC’s Norma Evans discusses her literacy and development work in Africa. “For children in resource-poor countries, literacy is social and economic capital. It allows them to participate more fully in society and to access better jobs.”