The Afghan Children Read Project

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The Basics:

  • Funded by:  USAID
  • Prime contractor:  Creative Associates
  • Contract type:  Contract
  • Sub-contract value: $1,406,150
  • SIL LEAD involvement: May, 2016 to March, 2021
  • Languages served (2): Dari and Pashto
  • Materials produced: Student Books and Teacher’s Guides for grades 1-3; “Language Mapping” report for Nangarhar and Herat provinces in Afghanistan; 42 titles of supplementary reading materials for Dari (21) and Pashto (21); Bloom interface in Dari and Pashto; Assisting with developing 5 modules for Occupational Capacity Development Program (OCDP) on EGR Syllabus and scope and sequence, developing learning materials, EGR material field test, piloting, and validation, book design, and reading labs; Developed pre-service teacher training Module 1: Foundations of Language Development in Early Grade Education; Assisted with baseline EGRA report finalization and dissemination
  • Metrics: # teachers trained, # students directly benefited, # libraries developed, etc.

Thesis of Project: The Afghan Children Read project aims to improve equitable access to education in Afghanistan and build the capacity of the Ministry of Education (MoE) to provide an evidence-based early grade reading (EGR) program (in Dari and Pashto) in both formal and Community-Based Education (CBE) schools for students in grades 1 to 3.

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SIL LEAD Overall Contribution to Project: SIL LEAD is providing technical assistance in the following areas/components of the project:

  1. Develop and endorse EGR supporting policies
  2. Conduct language mapping exercises in pilot provinces
  3. Develop, trial, and revise EGR materials

Summary of the Project:

Afghan Children Read is a USAID-funded primary education initiative designed to improve equitable access to education and generate measureable reading outcomes for girls and boys in Afghanistan. Afghan Children Read will support education service delivery, through building the capacity of the MoE to provide an evidence-based early grade reading (EGR) program (in Dari and Pashto) for students in grades 1 to 3 in both formal and Community-Based Education (CBE) schools. Strengthened skills, systems, models and materials will also enable future development of additional local mother-tongue languages into the national reading curriculum.

This project builds upon the foundation laid through the Resources, Skills and Capacities in Early Grade Reading Project (EGR Survey Project) also funded by USAID. The EGR Survey project is conducting preliminary assessments, research and surveying of the current climate for a national reading program, to conclude with results that will shape the focus and design of Afghan Children Read. Afghan Children Read will also complement and leverage other key USG and donor education-related investments in Afghanistan, including the CBE activity implemented by UNICEF, in-service and pre-service teacher training funded by GIZ, the coming EQUIP III program to be funded through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), and other donor investments.

The Afghan Children Read project period extends from April 6, 2016 through April 5, 2021. This project is contracted under an Advancing Basic Education: Access for All Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity task order. The task order results are intended to contribute to achieving USAID’s strategic educational goals to:

  1. Meet targets under Goals 1 and 3 of the USAID Education Strategy, 2011 - achieving direct outcomes in reading, while complementing existing investments in CBE and non-formal education.
  2. Minimize the development of parallel systems in the education sector by providing technical assistance and partnerships with key MoE counterparts and working through host country systems to the extent possible, resulting in a national program that the GIRoA MoE can scale up both financially and technically through the ARTF.
  3. Strengthen the policies, systems, and resources that are available to the MoE, particularly in the area of EGR.
  4. Foster positive gender norms, including a highlighted attention to female students and teachers, who are the least likely to have access to schooling in Afghanistan.

The project is implemented by the consortium consisting of Creative Associates International, Inc. (Creative), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Afghan Holding Group (AHG), and two niche partners SIL-LEAD and Equal Access (EA). Creative is responsible for the overall management of the team in meeting the expectations of the Afghan Children Read contract.