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Improving learning achievements – Model school’s reading corners

By Sibeso Luswata  and Mintwab Yemane

Tsehay, explains about the competency based  reading skill assessment in the 1st Model Primary School.HARAR, October 2011–Tsehay Belisa has been teaching at the 1st Model Primary School starting since 2002. She has been a principal at this school for the last 3 years. In 2009 when she was appointed as the principal, she realized that she would have to adopt new approaches in order to improve the quality of education in the school.
Tsehay explained that most of the students who joined the school don’t have pre-school experience and as a result the students’ performance in the previous years was very poor. This created a need to put extra effort to help students to attain the standards that are set for each grade level.  In order to improve the children’s academic performance, Tsehay opted to use different early childhood education approaches together with other colleagues. With the support of UNICEF and the IKEA Foundation, the school established reading corners in each classroom and conducted regular review meetings and trainings to better capacitate the teachers. There are different reading corners from grade 1 to grade 4, which serve as teaching resources for different subjects. For example, the mathematics corner at grade 1 is built from various local materials that help students to play with the objects and at the same time teach them different shapes and basic calculations.. 

Tsehay proudly asserted that “reading corners, tutor classes and child to child approaches are being implemented thoroughly in 1st Model Primary School and visible advancement has been shown.” To improve learning achievement the school is implementing competency-based approach that has resulted in great improvement in the students’ comprehension and reading skills.

Kebeke, one of the students who have  shown tremendous improvement in their study  as a result of the school’s new methods

Kebeke Mengistu is a 10 years old girl in 4th grade.  Kebeke’s reading was very poor compared to the other students when she joined this school in 2010 in grade 3. As a result of the child to child approach, one of her classmates was assigned to support her improve her reading outside their normal class hours. Because of the support from her classmate and her enthusiasm, Kebeke can now not only read well, but she is also able to explain what she has read very well. “Now I love reading because every day I am getting knowledge and share what I read with my friends and family,” Kebeke stated. Furthermore, the boy who helped Kebeke received an award from the school for his determination in support of Kebeke. This year as Kebeke shown great success, she is helping another student from her class who needs to improve in reading.

Daniel Ababe is a supervisor at Sofi Administration, Regional Education Bureau in Harar region. He confirms the need to have different approaches in the school to improve the quality of education. “The child to child approached is the only approach that is successful, cost effective and sustainable,” said Danel.
With the support UNICEF and donor and partners including the IKEA Foundation, there are many students like Kebeke who have
shown tremendous improvement in their performance as a result of the school’s effort to improve the quality of education.

Tsehay proudly declared her success by saying: “these days as parents have seen the improvement in their kids’ reading and other subjects, they are glad and willing to send their children to schools rather than engaging them in the housework”.



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