Continuing the celebration of International Mother Language Day 2018, the Global Reading Network hosted a webinar, March 7, 2018 to explore language issues within the context of early grade reading programs. The webinar, "Language Policy, Planning and Practice in Early Grade Reading Programs," featured the experiences of USAID-supported early grade reading programs in Ethiopia, Nepal and the Philippines.
Dina Ocampo, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction, Philippines Department of Education (2013-2017), and Global Reading Network Steering Committee member (2017-present), provided an overview of the development of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) policy in the Philippines. Susan Bruckner, Project Director for the EDC-implemented USAID Basa Philipinas project, shared how Basa collaborated with the Department of Education to support the implementation of the new policy in more than 3,000 schools with 15,700 teachers and 1.6 million children.
Wendi Ralaingita, Senior Research Education Analyst at RTI International, presented on the experiences of Nepal and Ethiopia, countries which have mother tongue-supportive education policies. She was joined by Jhum Rai, Undersecretary of the Nepal Language Commission. The presentation discussed key policy and practice factors in each country, and how such factors supported or presented challenges for large-scale mother tongue reading programs. Ralaingita is currently the Senior Reading Advisor for the USAID-supported Nepal Early Grade Reading Program (EGRP); she previously supported the Ethiopian READ TA project.