Reading Instruction in the Age of COVID-19: Planning for the Present and the Future
Global Reading Network joined its interim host, Basic Education Coalition, as several programs shared how to ensure continuity in reading/literacy instruction for young children during COVID-19 school closures.
Marcia Davidson, Senior Technical Advisor for Reading at FHI360 described how the USAID Partnership for Education: Learning Project has developed with Ghana Ministry of Education two national radio programs to be broadcast in all 16 regions of the country. A program on oral language and foundational English language for Grades 1 through 3 to debut in mid-June 2020, and a program on reading skills in 11 Ghanaian local languages for pre-primary to Grade 4 will launch later this year. Both programs relay information on health, well-being, and safety.
Josh Kunin-Goldsmith, Home Office Director for Chemonics and Fred Kasongo, Director of Program Implementation on the ACCELERE!1 project in Democratic Republic of Congo, presented “Lecture pour la vie”, a local language pilot interactive radio instruction program designed to maintain literacy learning during the COVID-19 school closure. ACCELERE!1 converted its scripted teaching and learning materials into audio lessons, with time for facilitated interactive exercises targeting specific literacy and social and emotional skills. 110,000 learners in formal grades 1-2 and accelerated learning centers, in Kinshasa, North Kivu and Haut-Katanga will be reached.
Michael Crawford, Lead Education Special discussed what the World Bank’s learning target and efforts to reduce Learning Poverty mean for its effort to promote literacy for all children. This included an overview of the learning target and the literacy policy package through which it is being operationalized. His presentation emphasized how efforts seek a comprehensive approach involving improved teaching, better access to books and teaching and learning materials, more attention to language of instruction issues, and more involvement of parents and home reading.
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