For Immediate Release
DAKAR, Senegal: The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), on Wednesday began a new project in partnership with the Ministry of Education to improve the reading and math skills of thousands of primary school students in Senegal. The Partnership to Improve Elementary Reading and Math will work directly with the Ministry as well as other partners including the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Education, and additional bilateral donors France, Canada, and Japan.
The three-year, $18 million project will improve reading and math classroom instruction, strengthen school monitoring and student learning assessments at the local and national levels, and increase research and evaluation capacity within the Ministry.
“Reading and mathematics are powerful tools for learning and cognitive development,” USAID Mission Director in Senegal Henderson Patrick said at the launch. “Reading is an immeasurably important portal of knowledge and discovery, and it’s the foundation of all learning.”
Joseph Pierre Ndieye, Cabinet Director at the Ministry of Education, said that according to Minister Serigne Mbaye Thiam, the overarching theme of the project is “to know how to read and calculate, to build and rebuild the world.” He added that the benefits of such programs require time to take effect, and that close and responsible management is needed throughout the course of the project.
Local ownership is a central component of the partnership. By improving the skills and techniques of educators and administrators at individual schools and districts, USAID is promoting the delivery of high-quality services at the local level. In consultation with international experts, project partners are also building consensus on a country-wide plan that establishes a national reading agenda. This approach aligns with the goals of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the Agency’s reform agenda under USAID Forward.
Patrick concluded, “By bringing the government educational system together with multiple donor partners including and civil society at the local level, I am confident we can go far in improving the quality of primary education.”
Last updated: December 20, 2012