POSTED BY | Feb, 19, 2016 |

Ten years of experience supporting girls’ education

A new direction in partnership with CAUSE Canada & McGill University

We have chosen to invest $300,000 over two years with CAUSE Canada to fund a peer literacy program and self-directed computer-based learning in rural Sierra Leone. This project will reach 5,000 students, half of whom are girls. An evaluation by McGill researchers will deepen our understanding of the project’s impact on learning outcomes.

Educational materials mean better quality learning

60 million girls feels strongly that new strategies are needed to ensure that disadvantaged children get a quality education. The objective of this project is to introduce additional educational materials to children, encourage their natural love and enthusiasm for learning and, ultimately, to improve learning outcomes.

The components of the project are as follows:

  • 100 peer literacy facilitators – local secondary school girls – will work with younger children on their literacy skills over a two-year period and encourage them to stay in school.
  • We will introduce 5,000 primary school children to after-school, self-directed computer-based learning using tablets in a local learning centre – a program that will be run by the schools’ Mothers’ Clubs. The children will be able to access interactive videos and exercises on basic literacy, math and science, including Wikipedia Academic, textbooks, agriculture and health information, music programs, African created e-books and more.
  • A research team from McGill University, led by Professor Sonia Laszlo, Associate Professor of Economics and Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID), will analyse the impact of the project on learning outcomes.

For more information and a detailed outline of how this will work, please go to our website.

Focusing on technology is crucial

UNESCO statistics clearly show that, if we continue supporting education at the same rate as we have done in the past, it will take over 100 years for all girls to have access to a lower secondary school education.

60 million girls’ R&D team is dedicated to finding the best way to deliver quality education to marginalized children around the world. We believe that self-directed computer-based learning can enhance academic outcomes and help children develop a deep interest and motivation in learning. The cost of delivering high quality interactive academic content to an area without electricity or Internet access is a fraction of what it would cost to provide equivalent textbooks and encyclopedias. The RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspots for Education and Learning) -Pi (RPi) can be easily upgraded at any time and more content can be added and customized by using additional memory chips.

Furthermore, the Learning Centres will provide a base for self-directed learning for all ages and for different, practical day-to-day information for adults: literacy, agriculture information, prenatal and postnatal information for women, nutrition, health guidance, teacher training and so much more.

A small investment can have a big impact

Since our founding in 2006, 60 million girls has invested $2.1 million in 19 projects in 14 countries, directly impacting the lives of more than 15,000 girls and boys. Our $100,000 investments in Kenya and Indonesia led directly to larger investments from government agencies.

We couldn’t do it without our partners

Over the years, our partners, including the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Free The Children, CAUSE Canada, Handicap International, WUSC and War Child Canada, have given us tremendous insight into what works in girls’ education.

Our close relationship with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, McGill’s ISID and other members of the development community has helped us see what could be done more effectively to ensure a quality education for all children around the world.

On the technology side, we have worked with partners such as World Possible in California, Fantastic Phonics in Australia, and the developers from eXplorance, based here in Montreal, to create and add an off-line version of the Fantastic Phonics digital literacy program to the RPi.

How you can help

We are always looking for specific expertise and supplies to help get these educational initiatives off the ground. If you can help, please get in touch by email, phone or through our social media platforms. Our current needs are:

    • Tablets (300)
    • RACHEL-Pi (20)
    • Portable solar panels (20)
    • Help in reviewing potential new tech solutions
    • Digitizing printed books

Thank you for your support and your belief in the power of girls’ education.

TAGS : CAUSE Canada computer-based learning Girls' education literacy McGill University peer literacy facilitators quality eduction self directed learning Sierra Leone Sub-Saharan Africa Internet R&D Rachel Pi

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