April 20, 2015

EDC to Showcase Literacy Innovation at USAID Summit in Melbourne, Australia

WALTHAM, MA | EDC will join other winners of the USAID All Children Reading Grand Challenge competition for a summit meeting to discuss scaling up early-grade reading efforts in the Asia Pacific region. EDC will showcase results of its literacy data initiative first introduced in the Philippines in 2011. The summit will be held in Melbourne, Australia, April 27-28.

Senior Project Director Bill Potter will describe the impact of EDC’s innovative mobile phone technology, which enables the efficient transmission and use of students’ National Achievement Test (NAT) data at the school level. The technology also helps school heads and teachers more quickly understand the NAT data analysis, and its use in addressing learning gaps, especially for struggling readers.

“Most of the Philippines still relies on a manual data collection system that often delays results-sharing for many months after testing—too long for the information to be used effectively to affect instruction,” said Potter. “Using text messaging, teachers are able to request and receive student test results in a timely way so that performance data can inform their classroom practice.”

The project initially involved 900 teachers, school heads, and district supervisors from 50 public elementary schools in the southern region of Mindanao. Based on success there, the effort was expanded to EDC’s much larger USAID Philippines Basa Pilipinas! (Read Philippines!) project, which aims to show improved reading skills for at least 1 million early grade students. Next, EDC hopes to work with the Philippine Department of Education to fully scale up the approach to elementary schools in the rest of the country.

In addition to the EDC innovation, summit participants will explore other innovations that focus on areas such as disability inclusion, mother tongue instruction, parent and community engagement, and curriculum reform and discuss how these efforts can be expanded to reach more children in more locations.

The summit is hosted by All Children Reading partners: the U.S. Agency for International Development, World Vision, and Australian Aid. USAID established All Children Reading to find solutions to improve early grade reading around the world.

EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Visit www.edc.org.