On September 8, the United Nations marked International Literacy Day, focusing attention on the importance of literacy and its potential to improve the lives of people around the world. According to UNESCO, approximately 775 million people —16 percent of the world’s population — are illiterate. USAID has set a goal of improving reading skills for more than 100 million children by 2015.
One Chemonics project, the Georgia Primary Education project (G-PriEd), is supporting this strategic goal by laying the foundation for better schools with improved classroom materials and diagnostic assessments to support increased literacy rates among primary school children in Georgia.
The Government of Georgia recognized the need to improve education initiatives in the Georgian and non-Georgian elementary schools countrywide. As a result, the country’s Ministry of Education and Science partnered with the Georgia Primary Education Project (G-PriEd) to develop classroom diagnostic assessments for reading and math that will measure students’ progress and enhance their learning on a year-to-year basis.
The collected data on students’ annual progress and academic achievements by grade will help teachers deliver an improved learning experience for students by allowing them to design informed education plans and tools to boost literacy and numeracy skills at schools, and ultimately nationwide. These assessments methodologies coupled with professional development programs for teachers, also provided by the G-PriEd project, supports improved national literacy for Georgia.
The project is also working with Georgia's National Curriculum and General Education Development department on an initiative to analyze the most frequently used words in textbooks and popular children’s books. This program will allow teachers to capitalize on what students are already exposed to in other contexts to help enhance and accelerate the learning environment in their classrooms.