The Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) and Young 1ove organisation will today and tomorrow host education experts and specialists from around the world to observe the Teaching at the Right Level programme in Gaborone.
MoBE signed a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Young 1ove to see this remedial education initiative taken to scale in collaboration with University of Botswana (UB) and UNICEF.
Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) was pioneered by Pratham Education Foundation in India and has been adapted for Botswana to support students falling behind in basic literacy and numeracy.
The programme has proven successful in over eight randomised evaluations and is now being implemented in Kenya, Zambia and Ghana.
The government of Botswana has identified quality education as a top priority. While 90% of children are enrolled in primary schools, the country lags behind similar income countries in student learning outcomes, including Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique.
In 2017, Young 1ove conducted a situational analysis in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic Education and UB to verify the need for TaRL and found that one in three Standard 5 students are falling two to three years behind in basic numeracy.
The intervention begins by evaluating students using a simple one-page assessment tool. Based on these results, students are grouped with others of similar ability level. Young trained facilitators then use fun and engaging level-appropriate teaching materials to target students at their learning level.
The activities are designed to be relatable and utilise readily available materials like sticks, stones and chalk. By reorienting the classroom instruction to each child’s level of understanding, teachers are able to push high-ability students and provide additional support to students who are falling behind.
As a TaRL innovation hub, Botswana will host representatives from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, the Peoples Action for Learning Network, Pratham Education Foundation, Felicidades ICDS, Evidence Action, UNICEF Nigeria, UNICEF Ghana and UNICEF Botswana, American Institute for Research, Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Transformations Economiques et Sociales (LARTES-IFAN), Street Child, Tep Centre, ZiziAfrique, Zambian Ministry of General Education, After School Game Changer, World Education, University of Delaware, and Brookings Institute.