Ethiopia has made great improvements in the quality of and access to schooling over the past several years. These improvements address Early Grade Reading Assessment results from 2010 to 2014 which showed that younger students and their teachers could use additional support to increase literacy levels.

To address gaps in early grade reading education, the Ethiopia READ II project aims to improve the reading skills of 15 million children in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa, Tigray, and Amhara regions. This five-year project:

  • Provides teachers with new instructional approaches and materials in seven local languages and English
  • Builds a culture of reading in the school, home, and community
  • Strengthens the Ethiopian education system’s capacity to support and sustain literacy improvements
  • Provides cross-cutting capacity building and support for gender equity in education

EDC works on READ II with Creative Associates (the lead implementer), World Vision, and the International Rescue Committee, as well as in close collaboration with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education.

Key Activities

EDC’s implementation of READ II includes the following:

  • Lead activities to strengthen preservice teacher preparation for literacy teaching
  • Increase support for gender sensitivity in all levels of education by supporting gender clubs in schools, connecting students to positive role models, and addressing gender issues through social messaging
  • Use its interactive audio programs for community engagement on gender issues and English language support at the Colleges of Teacher Education


  • Rolled out its enhanced model in 3,000 schools across 50 districts.
  • Restructured more than 3,000 gender clubs to include boys and girls equally and to focus on gender issues that affect healthy development and education.
  • Trained more than 6,000 gender club coordinators, school directors, and cluster supervisors in gender, life skills, and gender-based violence and on the READ II Student Success and Support Toolkit.
  • In coordination with the MOE, developed a Gender Club Facilitation Guide and five student reading books for grades 5–8. Materials will be distributed to more than 3,000 schools before the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Developed, pretested, and trained more than 3,000 school directors and cluster supervisors on two school-level tools for measuring gender bias in the classroom and school inequities.
  • Held six Female Leadership Conferences with 192 school-level female leaders and 122 education leaders. The conference was held to review and validate the results of READ II’s gender audit of the education sector, to provide female leaders a platform to voice their challenges and proposed solutions, and to jointly development regional action plans for structural changes.
  • Trained more than 3,000 school directors on how to protect students and respond to school-related gender-based violence.

Learn More

U.S. Agency for International Development

Creative Associates; International Rescue Committee; World Vision; and Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education