TaRL Africa colleagues conduct a TaRL training in Zanzibar. Photo: Milele Zanzibar Foundation

TaRL Africa is excited to support a budding community of practice, which includes multiple organisations implementing TaRL in contexts across sub-Saharan Africa. This year, our teams visited multiple partner programmes to learn from their interventions and to support them in building teachers’ and mentors’ knowledge of the TaRL approach. In 2023, TaRL Africa hopes to continue working together with its partners as a community to ensure that all children acquire foundational skills. Additionally, in line with our partnership strategy, we seek to purposefully engage in learning partnerships, strengthening collaborations that not only improve TaRL programming on the continent but also enable learning.

Here are some partners that we visited this year:

Milele Zanzibar Foundation in Tanzania

TaRL Africa facilitated a TaRL refresher training with Milele Zanzibar Foundation (MZF) for their Master Trainers (MTs) in September 2022. The MTs who are drawn from within MZF, the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), and other NGOs have been part of a team that implemented a TaRL pilot in 31 schools in Unguja and Pemba Islands. “We conducted a training for two teachers per school in the pilot stage, but now we are getting overwhelming requests from teachers to train them on the TaRL approach,” said Eshe Ramadhan, MZF’s Project Coordinator. The refresher training was timely as MZF seeks to expand and implement TaRL on a larger scale. 

The TaRL Africa team was also part of a two-day scoping mission that sought to explore the potential of a government-led TaRL pilot project for Zanzibar led by UNICEF Tanzania. The mission brought together UNICEF Staff from the Tanzania main office and Zanzibar office, the Khaki Foundation, Lady Fatema Foundation, MZF, Uwezo Tanzania, and TaRL Africa. The programme for the scoping mission entailed two school visits, a visit to a health facility, and multiple brainstorming sessions. The delegation also met government officials including the Minister of Education (MoE), Hon. Leila Mohd Mussa; the Permanent Secretary (PS) Mr. Khamis Abdulla Said; and directors from various departments within the ministry. 

The school visits led to recommendations for an intervention to address low learning levels in maths and reading. The MoE decided to develop a TaRL pilot programme, starting with five schools in each of the 11 districts in Zanzibar i.e a total of 55 schools. The MoE also proposed the formation of a technical team to work with UNICEF in designing a holistic education programme for Zanzibar. The joint mission hopes that together they can improve children’s learning. “There are various success stories that we continue to get from teachers, talking about how amazing the approach has been in transforming children’s learning outcomes in a short time,” said Eshe.

The Ministry of Education and UNICEF in Guinea

A joint team of officials from Guinea’s Ministry of Education (MEPU-A) and UNICEF-Guinea representatives attended the online FLN Academy in July 2021, which was organised by UNICEF, Pratham, J-PAL and Delivery Associates. Subsequently, the Ministry decided to implement a TaRL pilot for the 2022-23 academic year. 

Preparations for the TaRL pilot commenced with a learning journey to Côte d’Ivoire to see TaRL in action, and a programme design and materials development workshop for Ministry officials. Following this, a joint team from TaRL Africa and the Cote d’Ivoire Ministry of Education travelled to Guinea to lead a Master Training workshop. Carla Campos, TaRL Africa Côte d’Ivoire’s Programme Coordinator reflected that this was the first time that TaRL Africa had supported an Ivorian delegation to conduct the TaRL training outside of Côte d’Ivoire. “It means that Côte d’Ivoire has developed a sufficiently strong expertise to now directly support other countries,” she said.

Throughout each stage of activities, the Guinean Ministry of Education has strongly vocalised its commitment to improving learning. Guinea’s Minister of Education, Mr. Guillaume Hawkingreiterated the government’s strong commitment to improving Foundational Literacy and Numeracy skills in Guinea when meeting the TaRL Africa team. The country’s TaRL pilot will be implemented in 10 schools in the Kindia region and will benefit 1700 children next year.