Kenya Primary Math and Reading (PRIMR) Initiative
What is Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative?
Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative is a partnership between USAID and the Government of Kenya, the initiative is laying the foundation to measurably improve the language and mathematics skills of 3 million Kenyan children by the end of Grade Two by 2015.
Ensuring that children have the reading and mathematics skills they need to succeed in secondary school and the workforce is an important shared goal of the Government of Kenya and USAID. The program is working jointly with the Ministry of Education to evaluate successful interventions in 500 primary schools and prepare to bring them to scale. A rigorous national research study identified specific areas for improvement in Kenya’s primary education system.
Project Duration and Budget
August 2011 - August 2014
Who implements Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative?
CfBT Education Trust
Where does Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative work?
Nairobi, Thika, Nakuru, and Kisumu Counties
What does Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative do?
The program is introducing innovative teaching methods, new curricula, and professional development to build the skills of educators and improve student outcomes in urban areas of Kenya. Teachers are receiving training in how to encourage active learning and participation by both girls and boys in the classroom.
PRIMR’s instructional approaches use classroom data for a balanced approach to improving student achievement in reading and math. Data from student assessments determine the effectiveness of reading and math interventions and inform policy-related discussions with Kenya’s Ministry of Education on recommendations and strategies for scaling up successful programs.
How is Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative making a difference?
One-hundred fifty English, Kiswahili and math lesson plans have been developed for piloting in the classroom and 472 teachers have been trained and are developing lesson plans for improved reading and bilingual programs.
A number of Information and Communications Technologies are being tested for cost-effectiveness when implemented nationally. Video cameras and projectors for classroom use can be important instructional supports. Short Message Service (SMS) technology is facilitating on-going communication between coaches and teachers who are geographically distant. Electronic tablets outfitted with PRIMR instructional materials are contributing to classroom pedagogical tools, and age-appropriate e-readers, such as Kindles are being used by children to encourage active learning.
What key challenges does Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative face?
Education is a centerpiece of the Kenyan Government’s Vision 2030—its ambitious plan to transform Kenya into a middle-income country. Free Primary Education is part of this vision, and has produced a dramatic response since its introduction in 2003. Primary school enrollment has increased by nearly 3 million pupils (a 46% increase), while the number of primary schools grew by 7,000
(a 38% increase). The Government of Kenya, along with USAID is committed to ensuring that the increase in enrollment is accompanied by an increase in learning as well.
Kenya Primary Math and Reading Initiative in action
In Kenya, learning takes place in both formal government run schools as well as in non-traditional settings.
In Nairobi, PRIMR conducted assessments and observations in over 700 informal learning settings to pave the way for expanded activities in 2012. The resulting documentation is being used by the Government of Kenya in partnership with USAID to determine where PRIMR can best support Kenya’s children in attaining language, reading, and math skills.
For more information
Dr. Benjamin Piper, Chief of Party
Tel. +254 733 719966/716 71996
Dr. T. Wambui Gathenya, COR
Education and Youth Office
Tel: +254 20 862 2000