Jamaica - Enrichment Initiative to Increase Literacy at the Primary School Level

Speeches Shim

Project Title: 
Enrichment Initiative to Increase Literacy at the Primary School Level

Project Overview:
Country: Jamaica
Duration: April 2013 – March 2016

Digicel Foundation

The Enrichment Initiative is an island-wide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of 100% literacy by 2015. The project’s design twins ICTs and more individualized instruction for students in grades one through three who are having extreme difficulties in achieving their grade level in reading. Assessments are used to ascertain current reading levels as well as any special learning needs or challenges students may have. Differentiated teaching methodologies are employed to entice students and ‘enrich’ the learning and teaching experience that address the identified learning needs of students.

Program Activities:

  1. Establish 35 Enrichment Centres (ECs) – retrofitted, self-contained classrooms equipped with computer-based teaching aids, interactive whiteboards and computers loaded with literacy software.
  2. Distribute 60 Mobile Enrichment Carts (MECs) - a four foot wheeled cart, containing all the materials found to be most effective in ECs that can be wheeled into classes.
  3. Train 190 MoE teachers – these teachers will manage and administer the intervention in each selected school.
  4. Reach 40,000 students using either an EC or an MEC over three years.
  5. Engage 5,000 parents to support and sustain student’s performance Carts (MECs).

Program Status:
The Enrichment Initiative was first launched, in partnership with the MoE in 2009. To date, there are 108 schools now benefitting from these literacy interventions in all six regions across the island. Students involved have shown an average improvement of two grade levels within the first year of engagement.  In 2013, the Digicel Foundation signed a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand this initiative to include an additional 95 schools over the next three years. In the first year of the project, 11 centres will be established and 31 carts distributed. Training of the teachers from the selected schools is scheduled to take place in August of each year, with new ECs and MECs established and distributed by the start of each academic year (September 2013).  

Issuing Country 
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 3:15pm