Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Initiative

Speeches Shim

Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Initiative
Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Initiative
USAID

BACKGROUND

With 63 percent of Jordan’s population under the age of 30 and approximately 1.6 million students enrolled in public schools, it is essential to Jordan’s stability that all children receive a quality education to gain the foundational reading and mathematics skills necessary for future success. Investing in foundational learning when children first enter school is more cost effective than investing in remedial, or “catch up” education later on. Furthermore, research indicates that each year of education increases a person’s annual income by 10 percent. In 2012, with USAID support, the Ministry of Education (MOE) conducted its first ever National Reading and Mathematics Assessment for children in Grades 2 and 3. The Assessment revealed that the majority of grade two students were not fluent readers and lacked foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

In response, USAID and MOE rolled out the Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Initiative (RAMP), a national program to provide students in Kindergarten 2, Grade 1, 2, and 3 with these foundational skills. This initiative supports Jordan’s stability and prosperity by preparing Jordan’s youngest learners for success so that as adults they can contribute to a growing economy.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

In alignment with the Ministry of Education’s Education Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, RAMP aims to improve the quality of early grade education. To do so, USAID supports the Ministry of Education to develop and distribute quality teaching and learning materials to every Kindergarten 2 through Grade 3 classroom in Jordan. RAMP also trains teachers, principals, supervisors, field directorates, and administrators nationwide to provide effective instruction and promote parent and community participation in early grade literacy and numeracy.

Ministry staff are now employing a wide variety of techniques in the classroom including differentiated instruction, adaptive classroom management, emotional/social support, and involving parents in their children’s learning. RAMP also supports the nationwide adoption of early grade reading and mathematics strategies, policies, standards, curricula, and assessments.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS

  • USAID supported the Ministry of Education pivot from in-person instruction to distance learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. USAID provided funds to procure equipment to film lessons, develop online content, and update the Ministry’s online learning platform, Edraak. USAID supported the development of 357 e-learning teaching and learning materials and training of 1,000 school principals on remedial education using the e-training platform.  
  • USAID is committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable students are not left behind. More than 20,000 Home Learning Kits were delivered to 874 schools in rural and under-resourced areas of Jordan so that nearly 23,000 students who did not have access to online schooling could continue their education during extended pandemic-related school closures.  
  • USAID supported the professional development of teachers, school management, and education supervisors nationwide to improve early grade literacy and numeracy outcomes. Since 2015, RAMP has trained 15,083 Kindergarten 2 through Grade 3 teachers across Jordan. Supervisors and senior teachers convened close to 7,000 community of practice meetings at the field directorate level to introduce new materials and policies with principals and teachers. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, schools in Jordan were closed for more than 41 weeks, one of the longest school closures in the region. In 2021, USAID conducted a four-week School Readiness Activity for 5,833 of Jordan’s most vulnerable children who did not have access to kindergarten to catch up prior to entering first grade. USAID’s School Readiness Activity prepared these young students for the school environment and introduced foundational skills in core subjects such as Arabic and Math through games, songs, storytimes, and application activities.  
  • USAID supported the Ministry of Education’s performance-based human resource reforms, in which teachers have the opportunity to advance in their careers through the completion of training modules to demonstrate their mastery of required competencies. USAID worked with the Ministry of Education to develop training modules on topics including inclusive education, specialized mathematics and Arabic instruction, and socioemotional support to students. USAID supported the establishment of an Online Training Platform which enabled the Ministry to host all training modules for all teachers, school management, and non-teaching staff at the Ministry of Education nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • USAID and the Ministry of Education are committed to ensuring data on learning outcomes is utilized to support schools, teachers, and students. Based on biennial Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessments and Lot Quality Assurance Survey results, supervisors work with teachers to develop individualized coaching and mentoring plans to support their students' unique learning needs. To track progress toward these goals, USAID and the Ministry of Education established a National Coaching and Mentoring Database. More than 15,000 Kindergarten 2 through Grade 3 teachers in Jordan are now trained, coached, and mentored by their supervisors based on their individual learning needs.

Last updated: June 21, 2022

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