Children enjoy a fun icebreaker during a TaRL session in Côte d’Ivoire. Photo: TaRL Africa
2022 has been a significant year in the education sector as it marks the resumption of near normal levels of education after months of school disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It also marks the year when the global community convened the Transforming Education Summit in response to a global crisis in education. Six action points were developed during this summit, including one dear to TaRL Africa: to ensure foundational learning as a key element to transforming education.
This year, TaRL programming continued to grow in size and scale. For instance, the number of children who have gone through a full cycle of a TaRL programme in Africa reached 3.4 million in nine countries in 2022. We also observed strong learning outcomes in foundational literacy and numeracy for TaRL Africa and partner-implemented programmes. These included 16 to 32 percentage point improvements in the number of children who could at least read a paragraph and solve a subtraction problem. With these results, we see TaRL as one of the strongest solutions to ending learning poverty on the African continent.
So, what are we looking forward to in the new year?
At TaRL Africa we are excited that most countries are resuming their normal calendar of education. The full school year takes a step toward the education sector’s recovery from the effects of Covid-19. Next year TaRL programming will be scaled up to more than 8000 schools across Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Zambia through government-led programmes. In addition, we are gearing up to effect our new partnership strategy and model. The overall goal of this new strategy is to have more effective and efficient partner engagement that leverages existing networks and capacities to take us further toward our goal of improving the learning outcomes of children at a large scale. Part of this strategy includes deepening our support to build technical capacity across the continent. This includes launching the first TaRL Africa Fellowship programme, which aims to nurture the development of a cadre of regional leaders of practice in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We are tremendously proud of the work that has been achieved to date by the TaRL community, but much more is needed to ensure that all children have any opportunity to acquire foundational skills across the continent. We remain committed to this mission and are excited for what can be achieved alongside our partners in 2023.
On behalf of all our colleagues at TaRL Africa, I wish you all a joyful holiday season.
About the author:
Titus Syengo is TaRL Africa’s Executive Director. He drives the mission and strategy of TaRL Africa and oversees all programmes, ensuring scale up of the TaRL approach to millions of primary school children in Africa