Education Support Program: Design, Implementation, and Initial Results of Remedial Reading Activities in Egypt

Since the political revolution in Egypt in 2011, Egyptian schools have witnessed important changes in the country’s human resource support for education. The Education Support Program (ESP) aims to support educational service delivery for Egyptian children during a critical and unique time in Egypt’s history.

ESP has focused its efforts on increasing community participation and strengthening support for teachers in order to improve student achievement. One critical intervention of a complex program of activities has been the design and implementation of tools, trainings, and resources for teachers seeking to improve the reading and writing abilities of students. By the end of the intervention, ESP will have provided 20,000 Egyptian fourth- and fifth-graders with remedial reading and writing support.

The ESP remedial reading and writing intervention directly targets reading needs identified by the Egyptian Ministry of Education. The first semester of implementation for these activities witnessed some challenges such as instability and civil unrest, which contributed to inconsistent implementation and high levels of participant attrition between the pre- and post-tests. However, in spite of these challenges, results indicate that the activities had a positive effect on reading skills and provided motivation and support to those students trying to achieve the reading levels of their peers.

Recommendations described in the report include the following:

  • Formalize the remedial reading and writing activities and continue holding them during activity classes.
  • Establish an incentive program for teachers and students.
  • Shorten the lessons or provide more time.
  • Provide access to more and varied reading materials.
  • Ensure that teachers receive adequate training and time to practice active learning activities.
  • Ensure that teachers are adequately supported by supervisors.