VVOB has been working on effective school leadership through professional learning communities in South Africa for several years now. That expertise does not go unnoticed: Save the Children South Africa commissioned VVOB to take the lead in the leadership aspects of its Literacy Boost-project.
Accelerate learning outcomes
Even though more children are physically in school today than ever before, many of them are not or barely learning basic skills like reading. To tackle poor learning outcomes in reading, Save the Children is creating a culture of reading for young learners in 24 countries worldwide with its Literacy Boost project.
In South Africa, Literacy Boost (officially ‘Accelerated Early Grade Reading’) supports the Department of Education (DOE) in the Free State Province to rapidly improve learning outcomes in reading for all learners in Grades 1 to 3. Save the Children South Africa, the Free State DOE and their key partners – among who VVOB – improve the language and literacy content knowledge of primary grade teachers by focusing on:
VVOB has signed on with Save the Children South Africa for a three-year partnership (until end 2019) for an amount of nearly 140,000 euros to take the lead in the third objective: ‘To strengthen school management and instructional leadership of School Management Teams’.
Leadership for reading skills
VVOB South Africa will take the lead in the Literacy Boost-project on district-based training on topics such as leadership, mentoring and the use of professional learning (PLCs) for continuous learning and improvement. The training will be combined with reflective learning and peer discussions on topics such as role clarification, understanding challenges faced by heads of departments and teachers, working together as a school management team to support literacy, and strengthening the link with the districts. More concretely, VVOB South Africa will bring key actors such as subject advisors, circuit managers, principals, deputies, and heads of departments together in district-based meetings, annual sharing workshops and trainings. Topics to be discussed include the continuous professional development approach of using PLCs, leadership and mentorship.
VVOB South Africa will also train Save the Children South Africa personnel on mentorship at schools and on employing PLCs for CPD purposes of teachers, principals, educational circuit manages and subject advisors.
Partners for SDG 4
Big financial partners have entrusted VVOB with grants up to over 44 million euros in the last few years. The European Union, for example, supports VVOB financially in Suriname (on school-based gender-related violence), in Zambia (in community schools) and in South Africa (on inclusive education), and VVOB counts on the ELMA Foundation in both Zambia and Rwanda (on mentorship of student teachers and newly qualified teachers). VVOB is very pleased to add Save the Children and USAID, the funder of this project, to its list of partners for quality education.