TEACHING AT THE RIGHT LEVEL

Niger and Madagascar

JICA partners with Ministries of Education to implement a community-based institutional approach providing after-school and weekend remedial classes to improve children’s foundational skills through the “School for All” programme.

Background

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has supported the “School for All” programme in several African countries since 2004.

School for All empowers parents, communities, and schools to improve children’s education through encouraging school enrolment and providing community-led supplementary lessons in the form of the “Minimum Package for Quality Learning (PMAQ)” model. The PMAQ model has provided extra mathematics support to over 300,000 primary school children in Niger and Madagascar over the past two years. To further accelerate children’s learning, JICA is integrating the TaRL approach and has developed a model for both literacy and numeracy.

Partnership

JICA has teamed up with education Ministries in Niger and Madagascar to empower SMCs and communities to improve children’s learning.

JICA works in partnership with Ministries of education in Niger and Madagascar. PMAQ provides training to School Management Committees (SMCs) and facilitators (either government teachers or community volunteers) to conduct after-school, weekend, and evening classes and study groups to help children strengthen their foundational numeracy and literacy skills. JICA has worked with Pratham and J-PAL to incorporate lessons from Teaching at the Right Level to strengthen the programme. In 2018 J-PAL, Pratham and JICA signed a memorandum of cooperation.

Seven children sit on the floor in a circle, with a chalkboard on the floor in the middle of them. One child places play money notes onto the board while the other children watch during a Teaching at the Right Level-integrated PMAQ programme in a classroom in Niger.

Children in Niger work with play money during a numeracy PMAQ class.

Photo: JICA

The PMAQ Model

SMCs support PMAQ classes and study groups and each SMC organises about 5 to 10 hours of PMAQ activities per week (100 to 250 hours per year). Facilitators (government-employed teachers or community volunteers) lead PMAQ classes – they monitor and encourage children’s participation, and check their progress. Training is provided for SMC representatives and facilitators and complementary numeracy and literacy exercise books have been developed with the support of JICA.

TaRL-Integrated PMAQ Pilot Results

JICA, together with Ministries of Education, piloted TaRL-integrated PMAQ models in Niger and Madagascar. The original PMAQ, before TaRL integration, relied more on learning materials designed for “self-learning at the right level”. By contrast, the current TaRL-integrated PMAQ model has been strengthened with ASER tools and activity-based facilitation. The PMAQ activities of these two countries have been demonstrating encouraging improvements in pupils’ learning.

Niger

In Niger, JICA piloted the  TaRL-integrated PMAQ model in 53 primary schools reaching more than 6,000 grade 1 to 6 pupils. At the beginning of the intervention, 3% of the children from a sample of 53 schools could read at least simple paragraph. By the end of the intervention, this figure was 20%. In 2017-2018 the programme expanded to 100 schools. 

Literacy learning improvement after 5-month TaRL-integrated PMAQ in Niger
8 percent of children could read at least words during the pre-intervention test in Nov-Dec 2017; 35 percent could read at least words during the post-intervention test in May/June 2018

Change in literacy levels after a 5-month TaRL-integrated PMAQ intervention in Niger. In total, children spent an average of 40 to 80 hours engaged in PMAQ activities. The graph draws from a sample of Grade 3 and 4 learners from 53 primary schools. Note: in Niger, French is the language of instruction for TaRL-integrated PMAQ. While French is Niger’s official language, it is not the mother tongue of the children in PMAQ.

Madagascar

In Madagascar, PMAQ reached 6,500 children in grades 1 to 5, across 68 primary schools in 2017-2018. At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, ASER tests in Malagasy reading were conducted with the support of SMCs for 247,100 pupils of all 1,641 primary schools in Analamanga Region. At the beginning of the intervention, 48% of children in 28 primary schools could read at least a simple paragraph. By the end of the intervention, 77% of children could read a simple paragraph. The PMAQ programme is expected to reach 70 primary schools in the 2018-2019 school year.

Literacy learning improvement after 40-day TaRL-integrated PMAQ in Madagascar
Learning improvement after 40-day Teaching at the Right Level-integrated PMAQ programme in Madagascar. 48 percent of children could read according to a pre-intervention test, while 77 percent could read according to the post-intervention test.

Change in literacy levels after a 40-day TaRL-integrated PMAQ intervention held in 28 primary schools. In total, children spent an average of 40 to 80 hours engaged in PMAQ activities.

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RESOURCES

Interested in learning more about JICA’s TaRL-integrated model?

Learn more about the TaRL Approach.