A positive story for early primary literacy in Fiji
Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and managed by Palladium, the Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) has been working with the Government of Fiji and other stakeholders to improve educational quality and access for children living in Fiji’s poor communities.
“AQEP’s work in literacy and numeracy is a model that has provided a golden opportunity and a huge breakthrough for many non-readers and innumerate students in Fijian schools and within the Ministry. It’s just like gold.” - Permanent Secretary, Fiji Ministry of Education, Mr Iowane Ponipate Tiko.
Improving early primary literacy in Fiji
The Literacy and Numeracy team of AQEP have been working with teachers in AQEP schools to improve teaching and learning in both literacy and numeracy literacy. Their approach includes in-service training in which teachers learn together, micro-teaching in which teachers practice their skills, one on one coaching from other experienced teachers and provision of literacy and numeracy guidelines and kits which have lots of activities and teaching ideas. The 2015 results of national tests of literacy show that schools supported by AQEP are beginning to close the gap in performance between the most disadvantaged students (poor and remote) and the overall population.
In a recent video, AQEP demonstrates that learning can be fun for both teachers and students, and illustrates how one teacher has been motivated to adopt new strategies for teaching reading utilising both phonics and whole word methods, together with a great array of classroom activities and visual aids that can be easily made by teachers themselves. The classroom has been transformed into a place where all children are gaining skills, confidence and the joy of reading.
AQEP has delivered achievements in three key areas - attendance rates, access for at risk groups, and quality of teaching and learning. The Program aims to achieve sustainable adoption of AQEP approaches and principles at school, district and ministry level. In the face of recurrent natural disasters, AQEP has also contributed to the ongoing emergency response and rebuilding of schools- following Tropical Cyclone Winston. Key program results have included improved attendance rates for boys and girls in AQEP schools, including in rural and remote schools, and reduced disparities in educational access based on location, disability and gender.
Contact Richard Paulsen (email@example.com) if you would like to more about the AQEP program or Palladium’s broader portfolio of work on early grades literacy and numeracy.