The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has created a 10-year national education strategy that aims to boost sustained access to education, offer reading instruction in four national languages, and ensure that teachers apply effective instructional practices so that all children can master fundamental reading skills by the end of Grade 2. To support the DRC’s goals, USAID and the U.K. Department for International Development have created a historic partnership to launch ACCELERE! 1 (which means “accelerating” in French) to increase access to school and reading, plus improved student retention and accountability.
The largest component of this project — implemented by Chemonics in a consortium with other international and local partners — focuses on helping education authorities and nongovernmental partners increase the effectiveness of schools at the local level. The ACCELERE! 1 project works with students, teachers, school administrators, reading coaches, and community members in at least 25 sub-provinces across the country to improve basic education.
ACCELERE! 1 aims to achieve three key results: increased equitable enrollment to a high-quality education environment, improved education quality, and improved governance and accountability. By lowering barriers to education, improving school safety, and increasing the reach and effectiveness of accelerated and alternative learning programs, more children will receive a high-quality education.
To improve learning in these institutions, the project is assisting the DRC Ministries of Education to develop and deliver evidence-based early-grade reading curriculum and materials in local languages and French. The project is also supporting the national government to develop and apply inclusive education policies and increase nongovernmental oversight of schooling. Such activities will improve access, quality, and school governance at scale, incorporating gender-smart and conflict-sensitive approaches to match the country’s current context and needs.