Open Learning Exchange

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Project Name
Ghana Reads

Location Implemented
Ghana

Organization Website
http://ghanareads.oleghana.org/



Challenge
Many schools in Ghana and other developing countries critically lack high quality reading material. Often the materials that are in schools are not aligned with the Ghanaian curriculum and are out of date. Words and short sentences may be written on the blackboard for children to sound aloud but the students themselves have little opportunity to read at their own pace.

Solution
The Ghana Reads project installs and supports (through coaching) the use of School Basic e-Learning Libraries (BeLLs) that sit on Raspberry Pi, and which include educational software and multimedia materials. In the first year of its ACR grant, OLE recorded that 3,142 learners in 10 schools accessed the BeLLs resources, including 209 newly developed materials. At the end of the ACR grant 6,633 learners accessed the BeLLs resources in 20 schools including a total of 307 new resources.

Project Reach
Text, audio and video content was delivered to schools via the BeLL system. Content, some of which are in the mother tongue, included alphabet letters sound songs, oral passages and written passages, games focused on vocabulary building, comprehension passages with questions and answers and resources for teaching phonics and reading in general. An online feedback portal was introduced June 2013 that housed data on system usage by teachers and students. While the midterm evaluation report noted that, among students who used BeLL, literacy skills increased 13% overall, with the largest gains made in subtasks of linking sounds to letters and identifying fictional words, the end-line evaluation established that there was a 98% (n=88) MD improvement in overall performance between midterm and end-line phases.

Collaborators/Partners
Ghana Education Service through Basic Education Division and the local education directorates
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