United States Government Launches $80M Partnership with the Government of Senegal to Improve Reading Skills in Local Languages and French

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School children help launch USAID's bilingual reading program, RELIT, that teaches them how to read and write in their native language
School children help launch USAID's bilingual reading program, RELIT, that teaches them how to read and write in their native language
Lauren Gruebel/USAID

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Saint Louis – The United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched its new program Renforcement de la Lecture Initiale pour Tous (RELIT) at Ecole Boly Diaw primary school in Saint Louis, Senegal. The RELIT program is a partnership between USAID and the Ministry of National Education to teach children to read through a bilingual—local language and French—approach.

The five-year 47 Billion FCFA ($80 million) RELIT program builds on the successful Lecture Pour Tous program which reached nearly half a million students in all schools in seven of Senegal’s 14 regions. RELIT will advance Senegal’s national bilingual education reform, Modèle harmonisé d’éducation bilingue au Sénégal (MOHEBS), to be implemented in October 2022.

RELIT reinforces reading instruction in Wolof, Pulaar and Seereer in the seven regions targeted by the Lecture Pour Tous program, and will expand to the regions of Tambacounda and Kedougou in the Mandinka and Soninke languages. The program also supports the development of a comprehensive curriculum for French as a second language, building on evidence that shows learning to read in a language children already understand better prepares them to succeed throughout school and in other languages. Through RELIT, USAID will also provide capacity building support to the Ministry of Education to further strengthen their education systems.

Mr. Mamadou Talla, Minister of National Education, co-presided over the RELIT launch on April 8th with the U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor. In attendance were USAID Mission Director, Mr. Peter Trenchard, the Governor and Mayor of Saint Louis, representatives of the Ministry of Education, regional education representatives, implementing partners, and beneficiaries who exchanged testimonials and celebrated the program's achievements.

This event will highlight and reinforce the 60 years of partnership between the Government of Senegal and the United States Government.

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About USAID

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) promotes and demonstrates American values of democracy and its vision of a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. Together with our Senegalese partners, USAID/Senegal provides assistance that saves lives, expands economic growth, provides education opportunities, strengthens governance and civil society, and supports Senegal’s national development plan, the Plan Sénégal Emergent.  +221 33 879 4000 ; usaid-senegal@usaid.gov 

Last updated: June 21, 2022

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