Direct Instruction Curriculum for Community Schools

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At the 18 community schools that have recently come into the care of GoCongo, the existing quality of teaching is poor - and improving this situation is a high priority. With schools in extremely remote locations, sourcing trained teachers is an almost insurmountable challenge, and there is no direct contact with teachers due to lack of internet or other communication channels. The available teachers lack subject-matter knowledge, language skills, and the knowledge of how to make children learn, and to develop these capacities would be an extremely long-term endeavour - a worthy one which we embark upon in parallel to other activities, but not sufficient for now as the only approach.

We believe the solution lies in supplying teachers with ‘scripted’ lessons: pre-prepared lessons, optimised for a teacher of limited skills to deliver with reasonable accuracy, and structured to ensure that children learn effectively. (This approach is also known as ‘Direct Instruction’.) While scripted curricula already exist, we find that they do not meet our requirements: we need curriculum to be in the French language, in conformance with the stipulations of the DRC national curriculum, aligned with the value system that we believe education should promote, and contextualised to be relevant to the communities whose children are being educated.

Therefore, we are undertaking a project to develop a scripted curriculum that meets these requirements, partly by building upon and translating existing Direct Instruction materials, but also by creating new materials. We hope that such a curriculum would have applications well beyond GoCongo Foundation’s schools, and make a difference to educational outcomes in other Francophone rural schools too.