Primary Math and Reading Program (PRIMR)

Primary Reading and Math program (PRIMR) seeks to improve quality of learning in early primary years in Kenya. RTI with the Ministry of Education implement reading and math programs in 1300 primary schools. The programs provide a researched scope of lessons, instructional materials and teacher training.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

PRIMR seeks to improve reading and math abilities in Standards 1 and 2. The program is implemented by RTI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST), CFBT, World-Reader and SIL.

PRIMR is currently implemented in 1300 schools across 7 counties in Kenya, the schools represent low-cost private schools and government schools in slum areas, urban areas and rural areas covering both low-income and middle-income households.

The program is organized to help teachers change their instructional activities, and supports them throughout the change process. As such, the program focuses on three key strands:

·         Reading and Math lesson sequencing and instructional materials

·         Teacher training

·         Assessment

PRIMR undertook research to develop a sequence of high quality reading lessons (in both Kiswahili and English) and Math lessons. Lessons follow the national syllabus with emphasis on child-centered learning. PRIMR provide instructional materials to teachers including, lesson plans and scripts, pupil workbooks and textbooks. In Kisumu region instructional materials were piloted using e-readers.

PRIMR places great emphasis on training the teachers. Coaches and tutors model best practices, observe lessons, and provide feedback to teachers. This process was also piloted using tablets, which were shown to be more effective. As part of teacher professional development, monthly cluster meetings provide teachers a space where they can receive feedback and discuss any issues they face in reaching the ultimate goal of improving their practice. The per pupil costs of PRIMR are low but the effect on teachers change is high.

The third approach of PRIMR is a strong focus on assessing both teachers and pupils. Through standardized assessment and continuous observation, PRIMR seek to provide evidence of what works and enhance education policies. Monitoring and Evaluation is a critical element of PRIMR as the implementers recognize it as an iterative process to constantly review what works and thus provide evidence which takes into account cost and thus options for policy.

RTI and the MOEST are looking to scale up the program in 2014 and implement it nationally.

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