The Speed School program aims to provide an education for the 120 million children around the world still denied access to learning due to poverty, conflict, or discrimination. Since inception in 2011, the program has helped over 100,000 girls and boys gain access to learning and life opportunities. The accelerated learning program prepares students to reintegrate into the government school system by covering the first three years of the national curriculum in just ten months.
The program takes an activity-based approach to pedagogy that priorities quality learning as well as accelerated learning. Class sizes are capped at 25 students per teacher and students spend 7-8 hours per day at school. At the end of the program, students take a standardized placement test to transfer into government schools alongside their peers. In addition, through parental engagement modules and training programs for local school teachers and principals, the program aims to strengthen the entire education ecosystem ensuring that all factors contributing to the out-of-school problem are addressed.
The Speed School program is a community-driven initiative. Communities identify the most marginalized children to enroll in Speed Schools and lend their space to use as classrooms, and community members serve as program facilitators. This level of community involvement ensures that children receive adequate support.
Working closely at the community level demands program flexibility, and as the Luminos Fund and the Speed School program continue to scale up, they hope to offer a suite of solutions to address each unique context. The program will act as an R&D lab for education innovations designed to reach the most marginalized children.
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CEI approaches in actionDeliveryChains or Networks of schools/centersStudent supportOut-of-School ChildrenComprehensive curriculum21st century skills (soft skills)
Model details2011Not-for-profitMath/numeracyLiteracyComprehensive curriculum21st century skills (soft skills)ActiveLong-term projectFree service or productGeneva Global101,55050%50%
Scale650650 teachers are currently teaching at Speed Schools
Teachers and school administrators from 1,950 local schools have been trained by implementing partners to ensure that former Speed School students and their new peers continue to receive a quality education when they transition out of the program.
16,250 mothers of Speed School children participated in parental engagement groups.September, 2016
In Ethiopia, the program has grown rapidly, from 2,633 children enrolled in 106 Speed Schools in the first year of operation, 2011-2012, to the current 14,250 learners in 570 Speed Schools in the country in 2016-2017. Additionally, the program was opened in Liberia in 2016, and now operates 80 Speed Schools serving 2,000 learners.
In 2016, the Luminos Fund opened Speed School in Liberia and Lebanon that they plan to grow in upcoming year. To further scale up the program, they are looking to open programs in Northern Nigeria—a country with one of the highest rates of out of school children relative to the population size—by 2018 at the latest.
Over the next five years, in addition to scaling up the Speed School program, the Luminos Fund seeks to develop four more equally effective models for helping the most marginalized children receive an education. Likely next solutions would include innovations in the use of voucher programs, conditional cash transfers, and new education technologies for bringing learning opportunities to the hardest to reach communities. In this way, the Luminos Fund intends to serve as the R&D lab for ending education exclusion.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Outputs and outcomes are measured at each stage of the program by Speed School program.
The M&E strategy comprises of the following metrics –
1. Baseline and Endline assessments for the students to gauge their literacy and numeracy levels. In addition, there are continuous assessments that children undertake to ensure they are meeting the minimum grade level competencies.
2. Baseline and Endline evaluation for parents impacted through the parental engagement groups to understand the shift in behaviors and attitudes.
3. Longitudinal study – This is commissioned to evaluate how Speed School graduates fare in public schools and to understand the difference Speed School makes in a student’s life trajectory compared to non-entrants.
Project progress is also monitored through quantitative reporting such as direct feedback from beneficiaries and case studies on lessons learnt.
Speed School teachers report student attendance and performance data weekly. Implementing organizations' project coordinators gather, review, and enter attendance and performance data into an electronic database customized for the country program. This data is used to track student attendance, performance, and the program’s ability to retain and educate students.
In addition, the Luminos Fund contracts an evaluation partner to collect baseline and endline data for students and parents.
Every year, the Speed School students take the national standardized entrance exam into Grade 4. The results from this exam not only admit students into local schools, they allows the program to see how effective the pedagogy is and how students’ learning compares to their peers in government schools.Standardized assessment performanceAbility to reach the poorGraduation or promotion ratesStudent attendanceStudent retentionIncreased enrollmentOtherAnnuallyWeeklyYes (External)DownloadNo
Four years later, 75% of the first cohort of students are still in enrolled in government schools.
92% of students who start Speed School progress to public schools at an appropriate grade level
$150/child/year (Ethiopia) as of September, 2016