All Children Reading Team From USA Visits Ghana
In the last quarter of 2012, OLE Ghana’s innovative Ghana Reads program was selected for sponsorship by All Children Reading (ACR), namely USAID, World Vision International and Aus Aid. As part of the monitoring process of the program a team from the ACR offices in the US was in the country form the 11th to the 18th of February 2014 to inspect projects that are being conducted as part of the ACR program.
The team comprised of Rina Dhalla who manages all the grantees and Christina Beggs, who is an Education Specialist and in charge of M & E for the ACR programme. OLE Ghana played host to the team on the 13th of February 2014.The ACR team arrived at the Ga West Municipal Education Directorate at 8,30 am to begin engaging OLE Ghana and Ghana Reads stakeholders in a number of activities planned for their visit. They first met with a core team from OLE Ghana led by its Executive Director and including the BeLL Ringer and IT Genius.
The ACR team asked questions on the project seeking a deeper understanding of what the project entailed.They later met the Municipal Director of Education, exchanged pleasantries and also sought to find out the status of education in the municipality as well as challenges facing education delivery in the municipality. The Municipal Director put the challenges facing education delivery in the municipality down to infrastructure due to population explosion in the municipality.
The ACR team then met with coaches on the Ghana Reads program. Among what they sought to know from the coaches included their duties, training and support they got from OLE Ghana in the discharge of their work. They also wanted the coaches to share their success stories and challenges. The team also wanted to find out what pressing need the coaches needed to have satisfied in order to make their work easier. Many of the coaches requested for more training to enable them help teachers to help the pupils.
The ACR team in the company of OLE Ghana officials, Ghana Reads Coaches and Circuit Supervisors from the GA West Education Directorate then paid a working visit to two of the Ghana Reads schools in the Ga West municipality. At Achiaman M A Primary they observed a P1 class using a laptop, projector, and amplified speakers to learn how to read. They also joined a P3 use 7 inch Android tablets with headsets to as part of their Reading Comprehension class as pupils worked on a video book selected by the class teacher for that lesson. The team also interacted with the head teacher and some teachers. At Sacred Heart RC at Afuaman the ACR team interacted with pupils and teachers as well as observed teachers teaching using equipment supplied as part of the Ghana Reads program.
The Team went after the visit to the schools came back to Accra and to the OLE Ghana offices where there was an exit conference with OLE Ghana Staff. The ACR Team asked a lot more questions regarding selection and training of coaches as well as content in the BeLL. They were told that a Ghana Reads Coaches’ course to form and certify coaches for the program was in the offering. They were also told that content was being locally developed.
The ACR Team members were shown the Ghana Reads Toolkit that had been prepared to help the teachers get the best out of the program. They saw the Feedback Portal which hey critically scrutinized. They were quite happy with the tracking of students’ progress. They were also happy that there had been a baseline, a midterm evaluation and that there was going to be an end line evaluation evaluation as well, all using EGRA.
The ACR Team’s visit ended at 5.15pm. The ACR Team indicated that the visit has helped them better appreciate the Ghana Reads program helping them to re orientate their thinking that the program was just another technology intervention. They indicated that they really appreciated the need as part of the intervention to tackle the ‘externalities’ as a means to arrive at the desired project goals.
OLE Ghana has found the visit very useful and awaits eagerly the official trip report from the team as they heard to other countries to visit sister ACR projects.