This Wednesday, February 23, 2022, under the presidency of the administrative and local authorities, Tostan launches the Reinforcement of Parental Practices, project funded by Bezos Family Foundation and VROOM in the department of Medina Yoro Foulah, in the region of Kolda in Senegal.
In 2009, the NGO Tostan received the EARLY GRADE READING ASSESSMENT (EGRA) in Senegal, which concluded that young Senegalese children were not sufficiently prepared for school and were struggling to achieve basic literacy skills. Only 7.3% of girls demonstrated MINIMUM reading proficiency after 3 years in elementary school compared to 11.2% of boys. Therefore, there may be implications for the future education of these children where basic skills are essential for learning new subjects such as science, literature, history, and many others. Since many children in Senegal do not have access to preschool education, the NGO Tostan wondered if we could help parents, families, and communities acquire new information and practices that would help their children prepare for critical thinking skills in reading, writing, and math.
Over the past 30 years, Tostan has begun to study new neurological information about brain development and has been surprised to find that caregivers can play a much more important role than we had imagined. We learned that parental support is most critical from ages 0-3, and so since 2012 we have implemented a Reinforcement of Parental Practices Module on early childhood development.
The RPP also aims to rebuild the dream of parents for their children by strengthening their capacities to assist their children’s development in relation to their family interactions and their relationship with the school. To date, the RPP has been implemented in 462 Pulaar, Wolof, and Mandingo communities in Senegal in the regions of Kaolack, Kolda, Matam, and Sédhiou. In 2022, the NGO Tostan plans to extend this program to 30 new Pulaar communities in the department of Medina Yoro Foulah, Kolda region.