Organiser: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, RTI International and Better Purpose

Topic: Teaching Foundation Learning

Title: How do we get all children reading and doing mathematics?

Date: Wednesday, 19th October 2022

Time: 12:00 PM – 13:30 PM Mauritius time (GMT+4)

Venue: Le Méridien Île Maurice

Storyline: What do we know about how to improve the teaching of foundational learning at scale? In high income countries, 9 out of 10 children can read by the age of 10, but in low-income countries 9 out of 10 cannot. One critical barrier is the poor quality of teaching that far too many already disadvantaged children experience. If we deliberately and systematically focus on understanding how best to support teachers to improve their teaching, based on evidence, we will have a much better chance of making sustained progress in improving learning outcomes for children around the world. But what works to improve teaching? Gaining a better understanding of what constitutes effective instruction and how to improve it will help illuminate the pathway to improved learning. Fortunately, there are great examples of programs and organizations across Sub-Saharan Africa who are working to improve the teaching of foundational learning. RTI International has developed a series of ‘How-To Guides’ which explores learnings from these programs and summarizes evidence-based best practices to improve the teaching of foundational learning (FL) at scale. These guides are based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Implementing the Science of Teaching grant. This session aims to share evidence and practical strategies on improving the teaching of FL at scale.


  • Understand more about the foundational learning crisis 
  • Explore specific approaches to instruction that have been successful at improving foundational learning.

Expected outcome: Greater understanding of the specific interventions that help improve the teaching of foundational learning.

Moderator: Dr Linda Zuze, Senior FLN Expert, ADEA

Rapporteur: Lula Dahir, Senior Analyst, Open Development Education (OpenDevEd) 


  • Dr Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, President of Human Capital África and Senior Economic Adviser at África Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI)
  • Dr. Nwabisa Makaluza, Project Lead for Limpopo, Funda Wande
  • Awa Ka Dia, ARED
  • Mr. Titus Syengo, Managing Director, TaRL Africa