Since August 2007, the Learning Initiatives for Rural Education (LIRE) project in Senegal and The Gambia has strengthened educators' capacity to deliver and support quality multi-grade (MG) education in rural areas with low population densities. In a truly collaborative approach, the LIRE project worked with 20 demonstration schools (13 in Senegal and 7 in The Gambia) to develop a teacher training manual and teachers' guide that was locally appropriate and in keeping with the curricula of each country. The LIRE team was truly international, with team members in Senegal, The Gambia and in the United States. The team met regularly in person, on Skype and over email to collaborate full in developing each of the six training workshops, and the four sets of materials. In addition, the team worked closely with a National Advisory Committee and Technical Working Group in each country, aw well as local inspectors/cluster monitors and teachers. Indeed, consistent feedback from the workshop evaluations, the conference and the external evaluation was that this collaboration was a highly valued part of the LIRE project.
In addition to the training and training materials, the LIRE project undertook local and national advocacy activities surrounding multigrade education in each country. The project also developed a monitoring ad evaluation toolkit, underwent an external evaluation and facilitated an international conference on multigrade education.
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