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What is Speed School?
Mary, a 9-year-old from Liberia who enrolled in Speed School
Worldwide there are 125 million children who miss out on basic education. Often excluded due to conflict, poverty, or discrimination, these children are at risk of being forgotten or ignored as they are assumed to be uneducable.
Speed School aims to change community and global mindsets so that it becomes unacceptable for any child to be denied an education. Luminos programs provide tangible evidence that _every_ child can learn, and work to deliver rich education in the poorest corners of the world.
Working in countries with the highest rates of out-of-school children, Speed Schools provide an accelerated learning program that condenses three years of basic education into just 10 months. Having caught up with their peers, children are able to re-enter mainstream education at 4th grade and join the local village schools with children their own age.
Speed Schools focus on a tight timeframe that complements and works alongside government schools rather than establishing a parallel system. Working closely with the national agencies of each country, the program is customized for each national context.
The program empowers teachers to teach in a radically new way compared with traditional local schools. Speed School classrooms blend child-centric pedagogy as well as activity-based and play-based learning methods to ensure children not only grasp the minimum learning competencies but also develop a positive experience towards learning.
By hiring local individuals to teach in classrooms, Speed Schools also have a positive impact on communities. Teachers have a minimum of a Grade 10 qualification. Speed School teachers undergo intensive training to enable them to teach using play-based education and other engaging learning techniques.
The long-term impact of the Speed School program is significant. Speed Schools have enabled 113,000 students to re-enter mainstream education, and University of Sussex evaluation has shown that graduates of the program complete primary school at twice the rate of their peers.
The success of the Speed School model has led the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to adopt the model as a national strategy to reach out-of-school children. We have begun training government teachers and district staff in the Speed School pedagogy so that, in future years, the Ministry of Education can implement the program independently. After a successful 2017-18 pilot, in which the government operated 32 Speed School classes to reach 960 students, the government expanded the initiative in 2018-19 to reach 3,300 students across 3 regions. As the government scales up their own Speed School program, Luminos will continue to advise the set-up and management of new classes.