Tusome – Let us read!

This project is funded by

Why We Do It

The increased access and enrolment to primary schools in Kenya due to free access has brought with it many challenges, which have had a negative impact on learning outcomes. Literacy rates in primary schools are significantly lower than expected. The high number of children enrolled in school does not match with learning quality.

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National data indicate that only three out of ten grade 3 pupils can do grade 2 work and eight out of 100 pupils in grade 8 cannot do grade 2 work. Literacy and numeracy skills of most pupils remain low throughout primary school. In Kilifi County, only 52 percent of residents have a primary school level education with 13 percent having secondary education.

In Kilifi, education in the past has not been part of the things highly valued and due to high adult illiteracy levels; children lack proper role models and adequate support and monitoring to help them thrive in their academics. Most children entirely rely on teacher supervision and guidance and in many cases; this alone is not enough.

Children find a supportive literacy enriched environment at school which is virtually non-existence in their homes despite the fact that they spend more time at home than in school. This means that there is great need for the home and parents, irrespective of their literacy levels, to be empowered and conscious of their children’s literacy needs since literacy skills are a key prerequisite to attaining knowledge and better educational outcomes.

How We Do It

The literacy support project “Tusome” (“Let Us Read”) project has the objectives to improve passion for reading, fluency and comprehension among grade 1 to 3 pupils in public primary schools and to sensitise parents on the importance of having a reading friendly environment at home. Creating engaged readers requires a partnership approach from schools, families and the community at large. Aside from the sheer joy of exercising the imagination, research shows reading for pleasure improves literacy, and learning outcomes.

Our Impacts

In 2020, during the third phase of the project, due to Covid-19 pandemic and the connected restrictions, we were not able to work in our target schools to hold parent-child reading days, advocacy outreach and book club sessions or form reading clubs. Instead we

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  • enhanced access to Kiswahili and English lessons through provision of 260 solar-powered radios with lighting features.
  • provided face masks and IEC materials with information preventive measures for corona virus.
  • rolled out ten radio mentions highlighting child health and literacy development during the pandemic and were able to reach an audience of approximately 150,000 in Kilifi County.
  • sensitized parents during two live interviews on creating conducive learning environment and enhancing reading culture for children while at home.
  • Through 2021, we will continue with the distribution of solar powered radios, masks and IEC materials.  


    What Teachers Say

    “The Tusome project has helped bring parents back to school. With the sensitisation sessions they now better understand the crucial role they play in their children’s learning” Deputy head teacher at Bahari Primary.

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    “Our pupils have greatly enjoyed and benefited from the activities. A reading culture has been cultivated. For the first time, parents did not complain when invited to school meetings. They really appreciate being involved” Teacher, Mkombe Primary.

    “The Tusome project has helped bring parents back to school. With the sensitisation sessions, they now understand the crucial role they play in their children’s learning.” Deputy head teacher at Bahari Primary.

    “It is shocking how three facilitators managed the clubs. Teachers were afraid that they would not significantly manage improving each child’s literacy needs. Using various stimulating approaches in the reading clubs fostered children span to participate in the activities.” Teacher, Fumbini Primary.