The development of literacy is critical for pupils’ lifetime academic success, and is an intrinsically important educational goal in its own right. Despite ongoing efforts from both the Government of Uganda and the international donor community, many children in Uganda still are not acquiring literacy skills at a satisfactory level.
This project will evaluate an innovative new educational paradigm, the Literacy Laboratory Project (LLP), which aims to solve this important problem. The LLP focuses on Primary 1 to Primary 3 pupils, employing a mother-tongue-first instructional approach and extensive teacher support and training. Using a randomized controlled trial, this study will measure the academic benefits of the LLP, as well as a reduced version of the program that provides only the materials.
We will study 128 schools, which are randomly assigned to either the full LLP, a half-program that includes only the materials, or a control group. We also have an additional 30 schools that will be randomly selected as pure controls to measure potential Hawthorne effects.
We randomise several types of inputs – wall clocks, slates, feedback to teachers and parents – to understand their impact on teacher effectiveness and parent investment. Outcomes will be measured principally in terms of improvements in Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) scores. The results of this study will be used to further improve the LLP, helping to maximise both its academic benefits and cost-effectiveness.