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Improving Learning Achievement in Early Primary in Low-Income Countries: A Review of the Research
Completion of primary school is a key goal within the Millennium Development and Education for All (EFA) Goals. Yet, there has been little attention to where education efforts break down: right at the beginning. Analysis of grade-disaggregated data indicates the highest drop-out and repetition rates are in Grade 1. In too many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia nearly half the children who enrol either repeat first grade or drop out. Of those who stay many become established in persistent patterns of under-achievement and leave school with no useful skills. This is costly in both human and financial terms, and represents a serious inefficiency within education systems that has received far too little attention.
A growing number of the Foundation’s programmes and research studies now focus on the issue of early transitions – not only as it relates to expanding provision of a range of early childhood supports to children and families but also, and critically, to improve the quality of learning in early primary classrooms.
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