The pilot confirmed that the majority of Grade 3 to 5 learners in Zambia are lacking basic reading and mathematics skills, with more than half of children in Grades 3 to 5 in Catch Up pilot schools at baseline unable to read words.

The process monitoring results found that the programme was well implemented. Monitoring largely occurred as planned, and teachers stuck to the key principles of TaRL. Furthermore, they continued to implement the programme over time.



Zambia’s baseline scores were roughly comparable to the baseline in Haryana, India, where a TaRL intervention was proven to be effective in a randomised evaluation.

Learning outcomes improved significantly during the pilot period. According to the government data, the share of children who could not even read a letter fell by 26 percentage points from 33% to 8% during the pilot period, and the share of children reading with basic proficiency (a simple paragraph or a story) grew by 18 percentage points from 34% to 52%. In arithmetic, the share of students in the beginner group (who could not even complete two- digit addition sums) fell by 16 percentage points from 44% to 28% and the share of students with basic proficiency (able to complete two digits subtraction) rose by 18 percentage points from 32% to 50%.

Baseline and endline reading outcomes

Baseline and endline learning outcomes

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