Mobilizing Communities to Promote Early Grade Reading in Ethiopia

For children to master the skills necessary to advance their education, education must extend beyond classrooms. With the right tools and training support, libraries in Ethiopia can fill a void in education that schools alone cannot address. Beyond Access is partnering with CODE, CODE Ethiopia, the National Archive and Library Agency, and Ethiopia Reads to strengthen community engagement to create opportunities for children to access and enjoy locally-relevant reading material outside of classrooms. With the support of Beyond Access, 25 libraries in Ethiopia are offering modern resources and spaces for children and communities to pursue lifelong learning.

In Ethiopia, 32% of children are out of school and 76% of youth have not completed primary education. Despite a recent increase in overall school enrollment rates in Ethiopia, schools alone are unable to meet the demand for early grade reading development. The lack of materials and books, particularly those in mother tongue, is one of the main challenges facing Ethiopia’s education sector. By supporting the development of appropriate technologies such as e-books, reading apps, and games, Beyond Access is increasing the amount of educational tools available to both educators and caregivers.
  • To incorporate libraries as support for national-scale early grade reading efforts
  • To improve access to supplementary reading materials in mother tongue
  • To strengthen parental and community engagement to support early grade literacy
  • To create opportunities for children to practice reading and writing outside a formal education setting

Literacy App hackathon

Enable local app developers and designers to create reading apps that are locally-relevant and designed to promote community engagement

Librarian capacity building

Train librarians in 25 communities to supplement reading instruction and help communities harness technology in appropriate, effective, and sustainable ways

Library modernization

Support libraries in establishing children’s reading corners with locally-relevant reading materials for print and digital use

Support literacy outside of the classroom

Support early grade reading classes with extracurricular activities, including public story times, family reading groups, and using interactive educational apps on tablets