Early Literacy & Maths Initiative (ELMI) Rwanda Midline Report December 2014

Save the Children’s Early Literacy and Maths Initiative (ELMI), a project supported by Innovation for Education, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK, was initiated in Rwanda in early 2013. In recognition of the increased interest and commitment by the Government of Rwanda to increasing access to ECCD services, the project was designed to focus on the quality of service delivery as this relates to school readiness outcomes for children. Early literacy and maths (ELM) skills are essential components of quality education. Children need the opportunity and support to gain these skills during pre‐primary years. Yet, given how new ECCD is in the country, there is a shortfall of resources, expertise and investment in supporting pre‐primary ELM teaching in Rwanda.

ELMI aims to demonstrate techniques that are pedagogically sound, scalable, and which will ensure that during the critical early years Rwandan children benefit from inclusive, effective teaching and learning opportunities that support ELM skills development at pre‐primary level, and improve school readiness and long‐term learning outcomes for young learners. This includes piloting the introduction of ELM‐specific techniques for caregivers in existing Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centres as well as designing and piloting a new parent outreach component for parents in communities whose children do not attend ECCD Centres. Evidence gathered through this project will enable Save the Children, the Rwandan Government and other relevant actors in this field to develop cost‐effective, replicable models, which are appropriate for scale up to achieve maximum impact for children. To support learning and enable meaningful evidence of the project’s results to be produced, a rigorous evaluation process was developed, commencing with a baseline assessment.

The following report outlines the midline results of an assessment of five, six and seven years old children’s school readiness skills. The midline data collection also sought to better understand change in children’s home learning environment as well as the quality of their classroom learning environments compared to baseline levels measured in 2013. The study tested over 617 young children who were also assessed at baseline, some of which are part of the ELMI Centre‐based intervention, some which are part of the ELMI Parenting intervention and two types of control students—those in ECCD enters that do not receive the ELM booster and those not attending any type of ECCD program. Information was also collected on the children’s background and learning environment at home and in ECCDs. This information helps us monitor both the intermediate changes in learning environment and support we hope to see from the program and the ultimate goal of better school readiness for children.

Published 2015-06-24

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