The TaRL Africa Board Meets in Côte d’Ivoire

In February, the TaRL Africa Board held its first meeting this year in Côte d’Ivoire. TaRL Africa supports the Ministère de l’Education Nationale et de l’Alphabétisation, (MENA), which is the Ministry of National Education and Literacy, in Côte d’Ivoire to implement Programme d’Enseignement Ciblé (PEC), a contextual adaptation of the TaRL approach. PEC is currently implemented in more than 1000 schools, reaches more than 145 000 children, and plans to scale to the North of the country.

The visit included the following:

  • school visits to Divo and Soubré
  • discussions on the PEC national scaling efforts with crucial government ministry of education officials and donors, and
  • strengthening partnerships to encourage sustained PEC scaling and institutionalization.

The board started the week-long meeting by paying a courtesy call to the Direction Régionale de l’Education Nationale et de l’Alphabétisation or “Regional Directorate for National Education and Literacy” (DRENA) in Divo and Soubré. The DRENA is a decentralized structure of the MENA that is in charge of Education in a region.

“DIVO is the mirror of PEC in the country because it is the region that first started the intervention,” said Mr. Traoré Inza, the DRENA in DIVO.

In two groups, the team visited schools, interacted with pedagogical advisors, school directors, teachers and learners on how PEC is implemented and discussed some of the challenges faced at the school level.

“I am very impressed by the level of energy of the teachers and how engaged the children are, notwithstanding the challenges of resources and different levels,” said Irina Holts, Programs Lead of Jacobs Foundation. Jacobs Foundation, who provided funding to TaRL Africa for the pilot and scale PEC in the country, was also part of the visit to the schools in DIVO.

Board members observing a PEC classroom in 2ème école school in Soubré

“TaRL is embedded in the government system. This is a key part of the everyday life of mentors, teachers, and trainers. It is exciting to see new techniques and approaches and a range of ideas teachers are familiar with and can hold on to have fun with the children, said TaRL Africa’s Board Chair, Rachel Glennerster.

Recent assessments show that the proportion of children who can read a simple paragraph and do basic math has improved. For example, in 2022, there were  21 percentage point (pp) improvements for language and 31 pp improvements for math among children in the PEC program in Côte d’Ivoire.

“We are looking forward to a good collaboration with TaRL Africa. We were looking for ways to address the learning crisis in the country and PEC is an answer to this,” said the Director of Cabinet, Mr. Kouadio Konan Raoul.

This visit included discussions with various partners, including World Bank, UNICEF and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) on sustained PEC scaling and institutionalization in the country.

The school visits allowed the board members to see how PEC is embedded in the government system since it was piloted in the country more than 4 years ago. Similarly, the meetings with partners and donors were great opportunities to share updates and future prospects.

“All the teams brought energy, engagement, and dedication when planning this visit/meeting, and I am happy to see that it has been successful,” said Amos DEMBELE, Country Director TaRL Africa Côte d’Ivoire. “The meetings with government officials have been an opportunity to get the confirmation that PEC is at the heart of the Ministry’s ongoing and next five years plans. Indeed, the SNAPAS and EGENA outline PEC as one of the key strategies for building foundational skills to ensure all children have foundational reading and arithmetic skills before they leave primary school.”

Read more about TaRL Africa’s board members here.

Facts about PEC program

  • PEC started in Côte d’Ivoire in the school year 2018-2019 (pilot phase)
  • Côte d’Ivoire is the first French-speaking country to use the TaRL approach.
  • Currently the program reaches around 145 000 learners and is being implemented in more than 1000 schools.
  • TaRL is entirely led by the government in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • TaRL in Côte d’Ivoire is being scaled up at a national level under the Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF) and the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instruments and is planned to be implemented in all schools in the country by September 2026.
  • PEC is the learning center for West Africa where there is a pool of skilled human resources, including national trainers, who can influence and support numeracy and literacy development in the francophone regions. This has already happened in Guinea.



1 Stratégie Nationale d’Amélioration des Premiers Apprentissages Scolaires (SNAPAS) is the National Strategy for Improvement of First Learnings in School. The objective of the SNAPAS is to gather the various education initiatives/programs under one umbrella and ensure coherence, consistency, and coordination between them. This includes initiatives/programs covered by two funding mechanisms: The child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF) and the Program-for-Results financing instrument (PforR).


Amos DEMBELE is TaRL Africa’s Country Director in Côte d’Ivoire, Florence Dzame is Communications Manager for TaRL Africa.

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