TANA RIVER, Kenya, Mar 3 – At least 2,500 learners in Tana River County are expected to acquire literacy and numeracy skills from an Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) by Safaricom Foundation and ZiziAfrique.
The Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) which was first launched in Turkana in 2018 will target 40 schools in Tana River and will be introduced in Bungoma County later this year.
Over 500 students in Tana River have already acquired reading skills at Grade 2 level in English. Learners were identified through an assessment, grouped according to learning levels and enrolled in 30-50 days learning camps, where they were supported to acquire the basic literacy skills.
“We launched our strategic direction in 2018 with education being a key pillar. Under education, we have partnered with ZiziAfrique for our literacy and numeracy focus area. Last year, the Program benefitted 4,500 learners through literacy camps. This year we are looking at learners from 120 schools in Bungoma, Turkana, and Tana River counties,” said, Fawzia-Ali Kimanthi, Safaricom Foundation Trustee.
An assessment by Zizi Afrique in 2018 revealed that most learners in the counties of Bungoma, Turkana and Tana River continued to fall behind their grade level expectations. The assessment showed that of all grades 3-8 learners assessed, only 3 out of 5 could read a grade 2 level text in Kiswahili. Half of the children in grade 5 could not read a similar level of text in English.
“We appreciate our partnership with Safaricom Foundation and the County Government of Tana River. We are working with a team of 44 teacher assistants across the 40 schools who are conducting the learning camps. Apart from the 3 counties, we have conducted pilot programs in Samburu, Nairobi, Migori, Marsabit and Kajiado counties through the Regional Education Learning Initiative (RELI), “said Sara Ruto, Executive Director, ZiziAfrique Foundation.
The Regional Education Learning Initiative (RELI) is consortium of organizations based in Kenya, Uganda, Zanzibar and Tanzania. Their goal is to empower its members to be effective and influential by coordinating and aligning, improving learning outcomes, influencing policy and ensuring principles of good practice are adhered to.
The ALP program engages learners by using fun-play based and engaging activities to build foundational literacy and numeracy skills.