Literacy Improvement Project
Education empowers people to improve socio-economic conditions for their families, communities, countries and the future generations. JSF works with the community to improve literacy outcomes for all children. JSF specifically works to eliminate gender disparity in primary education and increase the number of girls and boys moving into secondary education.
Our aim is to work with the community to improve the level of literacy at Isangel Central Primary School (ICPS), Tanna Island.
We plan to do this by supporting the new 2015 Vanuatu National Curriculum with resources and training.
This will be measured by:
1. Student retention rates at the completion of each academic year.
2. Results from National Literacy exams using the Vanuatu Education Department's measurement of literacy outcomes.
Our Objectives for the next 5 years are:
1. Literacy Data: Collation, updates, monitoriing and evaluation.
2. Library: Safety and maintenance.
3. Resources: Provision and maintenance of appropriate resources.
4. Librarian: Local librarian and teacher training.
Read all about our successful Library project.
Our Project PrinciplesPartnerships
Jump Start Foundation (JSF) works in partnership with communities to improve literacy for children and adults. JSF strongly believes that when a community owns a project, through its involvement at every stage of an enterprise, it will respect, care for, and do everything in its power to ensure the continued success of the venture.
Specifically, JSF has built a library, with full community participation, at Isangel Central Primary School (ICPS) on Tanna Island. Community involvement and cooperation between JSF and ICPS was demonstrated througout the decision and building process:
- From the very beginning ICPS have been key in every decision that has been made.
- Lengthy discussions were held about how to best improve the literacy levels of the school. The ICPS community decided that a library environment would best develop literacy through the love of words and stories.
- The library would also give current staff, and a proposed new library teacher, the opportunity to learn more skills.
- The build of the library would enable community tradesmen to learn new building skills.
- Parents and others in the community could participate by raising a proportion of the funds and donating goods such as local building materials, and/or their time.
- The library/literacy centre would eventually allow parents and other adults to learn to read and better support their children at home.
The sustainability of the program critically depends on JSF investing time, energy and money in training, continued education and the provision of a salary for a librarian and staff to organise, manage, monitor, evaluate and encourage education. The build of the ICPS library has:
- Shown the community ways to fundraise so they are financially investing in the build of their library. The library is an integral part of the community's long-term goal for improving literacy in their community.
- Enabled local tradesmen/women to learn new building skills and be paid appropriately for their time.
- Allowed stakeholder volunteers (teachers, parents, students) to learn how they can actively be involved in helping build their library.
- Provided library teacher training and employment for a local education enthusiast.
- Assisted school stakeholders to learn the principles of budgeting and making appropriate adjustments to meet a budget.
Projects must operate in an equitable manner. This is particularly important to ensure equitable distribution of opportunities and benefits within the community. We have fulfilled this principal by:
- Everyone, men and women has had a voice in the decisions regarding this project – not just those who spoke the loudest.
- The tender process for the build has been open to all in the community.
- The school is co-educational, so boys and girls will reap the benefits of the library.
- The school has men and women teachers, so there will be equality in the benefits gained from the library and training.
- This project is inclusive. It does not discriminate between races, religions, cultures or political persuasions. There is no bias or favour toward one group or community.
- We work with the ICPS community as a whole and ensure all people within that community have the opportunity to be involved and have equal access.
From the start of this project we have had an exit strategy. Our confidence in this strategy has been reinforced through the initial and subsequent discussions with the local stakeholders. The exit plan is as follows:
- Complete the library build.
- Provide appropriate resources. For example, books and teaching aids.
- Support the training and education of a library teacher as follows:
- First year - JSF provides 100% of the cost of a library teacher.
- Second year - 75% of the cost of the library teacher.
- Third year - 50% of the cost of the library teacher.
- Fourth year - 25% of the cost of the library teacher.
- Fifth year onward - The community has committed to fully support the library teacher.
- We believe that the strong foundations of the literacy improvement project through community ownership from the beginning will facilitate sustainability of this project.
Here are some photos of the build - Digging the first hole; We Have A Slab; Library Progress; The Roof Is On; And here is our finished library - yah!