Addressing the global literacy challenge through child sponsorship
Globally it’s estimated that 250 million children are not learning basic literacy and numeracy skills, even though half have attended school for at least four years.
Through the World Vision and Save the Children Partnership for Literacy, we are implementing the Literacy Boost program in countries across Africa and South Asia to improve the reading skills of 1.5 million children.
With the support of child sponsors, we have reached over 900,000 children in Ethiopia with quality literacy education through Literacy Boost.
The results of a trial conducted during a Literacy Boost pilot in Ethiopia showed that the percentage of children who could read with comprehension had risen from three percent to 27.7 percent after taking part in the program. This was compared to the control group, where the percentage of children who could read with comprehension only rose to 11.8 percent.
In a similar trial in Bangladesh, the results were even more impressive. Seventy-four percent of children could read with comprehension after taking part in the program compared to five percent in the control group.
Literacy Boost has three key pillars
- Reading assessments measure children’s reading levels regularly, to evaluate their needs and track their progress.
- Teacher training empowers local teachers with key skills to ensure children are motivated to learn in the classroom.
- The program ensures learning outside the classroom through reading camps and parent support and through the availability of locally relevant reading materials.
In Ethiopia, many children don’t have access to books in their mother tongue. So World Vision has partnered with universities and local printers to publish 386 new book titles in local languages. So far over one million copies of these books have been distributed across 2,400 reading camps.
Parents like Bekelu are seeing their children make great progress by taking part in the program.
“I am very happy seeing my children’s academic improvements,” she says. “Previously, even though we sent our children to school, they could only identify some letters and could not read. My husband and I did not have time to help them. After they started attending reading camps and studying with their brother at home, I have seen great progress in all of them. Their classroom ranks have improved.”