March 18, 2013

RTI Awarded Grant to Support Primary Math and Reading Initiative in Kenya

Highlights

  • RTI International will implement a two-year reading and mathematics improvement study in Kenya
  • RTI will support Kenyan Ministry of Education efforts to improve early grade instruction in 800 primary schools in two Kenyan counties
  • The $5.4 million project is funded by United Kingdom’s Department for International Development

Media Contacts

  • News@rti.org
  • Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe
    919-316-3596
  • Kami Spangenberg
    919-485-5606
Kenyan school girls
Students in Kenya

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – RTI International has been awarded a grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to implement a two-year reading and mathematics improvement study in Kenya. 

As part of the grant, valued at $5.4 million (£3.6 million), RTI is supporting Kenyan Ministry of Education efforts to improve early grade instruction in 800 primary schools in the rural counties of Machakos and Bungoma. The program will reach about 100,500 students.

The study builds on work RTI currently has underway to support a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Kenya, the Primary Math and Reading Initiative (PRIMR). The aim of that effort is to improve the language and mathematics skills of 3 million Kenyan children by the second grade. Results from the first year of PRIMR show that pupils are two times more likely to read with fluency and comprehension if they are in a PRIMR-supported school.

The DFID study, coined the PRIMR Rural Expansion program, will compare specific features of the PRIMR approach to monitor learning improvement and to develop a better understanding of the elements that lead to improved learning. In particular, the DFID program will investigate the relative effectiveness of three different approaches to teacher training.  

The Government of Kenya has articulated education as a key feature in Vision 2030, its comprehensive plan for transforming Kenya into a middle-income country. In recent years, Kenya has made laudable gains in expanding access to and making additional resources available for basic education. 

The PRIMR Rural Expansion program provides RTI with the opportunity to further test the impact of a focused quality improvement program in Kenyan schools. Findings from the project will help Kenyan education officials determine the conditions and structures necessary for rapid improvement in education quality across the country.