We partnered with system actors at sub-national and national levels of government to support children left behind to catch up.

Out of the 5 million children and youth we hope to impact by 2025, four million of these should be impacted through the established structures of the Government (ZAF, 2025). We leveraged two networks: the South-to-South Fellowship and the VaLi network.

The South-to-South fellowship birthed a vibrant local community of system actors in Kirinyaga working together to improve the literacy outcomes after their immersion in Sobral, Brazil. Their aspiration is etched in their motto of Every Child in Kirinyaga reading with Comprehension by Grade 3.

A key milestone for this movement is the convergence of efforts and seamless coordination between county and national levels of government under the Napenda Kusoma (NK) initiative. In Kenya, Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) is a function devolved to the county government. Even though this is where the foundational learning competences are seeded, there is little coordination with primary schools. Issues of management, inadequate supervision and resourcing of ECDE centers, and little to no instructional leadership continue to bedevil the quality of learning in these facilities. However, with the emergence of this local movement of learning champions in Kirinyaga, the teams from both ends are working together to realize the intended child-level outcomes.

What Did We Achieve?

This initiative has contributed to increased accountability for FL by local leaders. It has brought together 21 leaders from both levels of governance who are championing a system-led reform. It has also enhanced the capacities of 116 teachers in designing formative learning assessments, material development, and targeted instruction. Overall, over 12,000 learners from ECDE to Grade 3, in 40 schools (33 public and 7 private) have benefitted from quality learning experiences and individualized support as teachers shift their classroom practices for the better.
The Innovations directorate is part of the Daara Academy whose mission is to strengthen the capacities of organizations in SubSahara Africa to design and deliver effective FL programs at scale, while also creating a movement of local actors for regional advocacy. Through a co-creation process, the academy developed a leadership curriculum that will guide the one-year program. This has been a useful space for peer learning and exchange. Zizi was also the secretariat of the South-South Fellowship program by the Lemann Foundation. The partnership exposed our leadership to the transformative learning approach in Brazil, resulting in increased capacities and growth of our leaders.

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