Drawing on the success of the Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement (QITABI) project implemented in 2014-2019, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded Lebanon $90 million to implement QITABI2, a 5-years program with a main goal to build the Lebanese education system’s institutional capacity for sustainability and self-reliance.

QITABI2 program aims at improving the reading, writing, and social and emotional learning skills of more than 300,000 Lebanese and Syrian refugee girls and boys in public and private primary schools throughout the country.

In close coordination with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) and Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD), QITABI 2 addresses three specific outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Improved student performance in reading, math, and writing

  • Outcome 2: Improved Social and Emotional Learning

  • Outcome 3: Improved national-level service delivery of education

QITABI 2 adapts the Holistic Learning Approach (HLA), a student centered approach for literacy and math that will ensure children in Lebanon will gain quantifiable reading, writing, math, and SEL skills.

QITABI2 is implemented by World Learning leading on English and Math and component 3, in partnership with Ana Aqra Association leading on Arabic, American Lebanese Learning Center (ALLC) leading on French, International Rescue Committee (IRC) leading on component 2/SEL and MSI (Management Systems International) leading on assessment.

As the lead on Arabic, Ana Aqra Association is responsible for the development of Arabic reading/writing instruction material and the relevant training. Ana Aqra manages Akkar, North Lebanon, Baalbeck/Hermel and Beqaa regions where implementation will take place in 489 (1st shift) schools including 173 (2nd shifts).

The Just Right summer program

A community based early childhood education summer program was implemented for Syrian refugees (ages 4-6)in partnership with IRC:

  • 252 learners benefitted from ECE program within a safe and protected inclusive Community Based Early Childhood Education learning environments.

  • 144 hours of ECE learning opportunities took place.

  • 19 teachers received differentiated trainings and in class coaching sessions in order to adopt best practices in differentiated teaching.

  • 130 parents were supported in providing safe and enabling learning environments to their children in support of their continued learning. 130 parents completed 8 sessions of the parental program “I can also teach”.  The program provides parents the awareness and the knowledge for building the five critical early literacy skills that the children need to learn: oral language, vocabulary, story comprehension, print knowledge and sound awareness. The program also demonstrated for parents the importance of cognitive development through play as well as the importance of motor skills development.

The Just Right Start

The project aims at enhancing school preparedness for the integration and retention of 1,200 refugee and disadvantaged host community children ages 4-6 years old in Akkar, Bekaa and Mount Lebanon. The three-year partnership was extended for one additional year.

  • The project is enabling learners to transition from one ECE level to another by re-enrolling in the consecutive ECE cycles. A total of 2183 unique learners benefitted from early childhood education sessions. Children who completed at least one ECE cycle and were of age 6 and up were enrolled in formal schooling. 277 learners completed the ECE level 3 and were oriented towards formal education. The In school Syrian refugee and host community girls and boys (ages 6-8) who completed at least one cycle of the shortened ECE were provided with homework support classes in Bekaa and Mount Lebanon. During the academic year 2018/2019, a 85% of success rate in grade 1 was noted among Ana Aqra learners who transitioned to formal schools.

  • 454 sessions of parental programs were facilitated. Parents completed the parental program “I can also teach” that build their skills in providing safe and enabling learning environments to their children. Parents were provided with strategies on how to transform everyday routine into a learning situation that enhances their children’ s language, psychomotor and cognitive developments.

  • 30 teachers and 15 assistants are still partaking in capacity building workshops on differentiated teaching for the provision of safe and enabling learning environments.  32 training days were delivered so far.

An external mid-term evaluation was initiated by Ana Aqra Association for the ‘Just Right Start” project as part of the continued efforts to develop an effective system of early education, psychosocial support and protection for ECE learners.

The findings show that: “ Ana Aqra approach has had a positive impact on children’s socio-emotional learning and psychosocial well-being, and has resulted in improvements in better parenting, and better educational outcomes, and a safe and secure environment that was conducive to active learning.” Parents were as well involved in the mid-term evaluation and reported that “they were more encouraging of their children, more disciplined with their routines, gave them more attention, were more affectionate towards them, and encouraged and motivated them to learn more.” Parents also shared the impact of the project and the ECE program on their children’s’ performance: “Our children became better behaved, more organized, quieter, were able to correct their behavior faster, were more confident and took on a leadership role.” Parents also appreciate the parental program delivered:  “We are now better equipped and better knowledgeable how to deal with our kids and how to better prepare them to school and how to make use of daily routines to facilitate their learning process” . “I am now aware and confident that I can teach my kid even before he goes to school.”
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