The policy environment is ripe for action. The Botswana Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) has identified a need for evidenced-based strategies to assess and improve learning levels.
Young 1ove has built a strong coalition around Teaching at the Right Level in Botswana. This includes the Ministry of Basic Education, which has signed a multi-year MOU to scale-up TaRL nationally and dubbed TaRL one of its core interventions; the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, which has committed to engaging National Service Program participants, to deliver TaRL in dedicated fashion; the Ministry of Finance, which has indicated interest in allocating resources to support scale; UNICEF, which has signed a 5-year Partnership Cooperation Agreement to provide technical support; and the University of Botswana, which has collected numeracy and literacy data and engaged government.
Young 1ove is also the Innovation Hub for an Africa-wide effort to scale TaRL in partnership with Pratham and J-PAL, and working in partnership with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution as a Real-time Scaling Lab. Young 1ove aims to share lessons from its work as an innovation hub with the wider TaRL Africa Community of Practice.
The intervention runs for 30-days for 1-2 hours a day and is implemented with Standards 3-5, through two models: a direct delivery model with young, independently hired facilitators and a government-led delivery model. The two are synergistic, with the direct delivery model serving as an innovation hub and the government model as a route for sustainable scale. The end vision is for both models to achieve impact and stimulate demand at the grassroots level for TaRL principles to be incorporated into day-to-day teaching and learning.
To date, TaRL has reached 10% of primary schools and over 5,000 students in 3 regions in Botswana. Young 1ove has also trained 95 National Service participants who have implemented TaRL in three regions.
The results have remained strong with 80% of students gaining numeracy skills and the percentage of students learning division jumping from just 7% to 52%.
The impact goes beyond numbers. One TaRL student reflected on the programme saying:
“It helped me because some of us did not understand some things taught in our class but TaRL taught us what we did not understand.”
Young 1ove has demonstrated a strong direct delivery implementation model. In 2020, TaRL partners will include a literacy component and simplify the implementation model to enable government-led scale-up. Over the next 3-5 years, Young 1ove is on track to reach all primary schools in the country.
Photo: Young 1ove
1) Southern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality. (2007). SACMEQ-III Project. Botswana. Retrieved from http://www.sacmeq.org/?q=
2) UNESCO Institute for Statistics. (n.d). Gross intake ratio in first grade of primary education, total (% of relevant age group). Retrieved from http://uis.unesco.org/country/