English language is an extremely valuable skill in Fort Dauphin, due in part to its necessity in the tourism industry, an important part of the local economy. However, the English education currently available at local schools is very limited, negatively impacting students’ chances of passing their Baccalaureate exam and progressing on to further education and employment.
In Fort Dauphin, the capital of the Anosy region, access to education and employment opportunities are severely limited and an extensive lack of infrastructure has resulted in this urban community being effectively cut off from national and international trade routes and development opportunities. In many cases, English language skills are a prerequisite for high-quality employment opportunities, including within the regional tourist industry and major ilmenite mine operated by Rio Tinto. As a result, insufficient language skills bar local people from accessing high quality business and employment opportunities.
English is very important for economic opportunities in Fort Dauphin as businesses and emerging technologies increasingly operate in EnglishLiva Randriamilamina, Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce, Fort Dauphin
Despite widespread poverty, digital resources (e.g. mobile phones/CD players) are widely used and accessible to a large section of the population in Fort Dauphin. There is thus an opportunity to capitalise on the popularity of these resources to enhance English education provision through media. Therefore, Project Serasera will pilot the distribution of English language CDs, SD cards and workbooks in order to provide users with native English audio – a feature that is currently lacking in school English education – and complementary written exercises and activities. This pilot phase of Project Serasera will involve producing resources for penultimate year lycée (high school) students – in order to increase their level of English exposure before taking the Baccalaureate exam – and final year CEG (middle school) students also preparing for exams. This will be done working alongside local teachers to determine resource content and best use. Monitoring, evaluation and learning throughout the project will enable SEED Madagascar to evaluate the efficacy of the educational resources before expanding the initiative to all lycée students in Fort Dauphin, as well as to members of the wider community. Ongoing and rigorous evaluation at this stage will ensure that SEED Madagascar is able to respond to emerging themes as they develop during the pilot phase and thus increase the benefit of resources to users.
The Gilchrist Educational, The Souter Charitable Trust, QCOEF and the Cuckoo Hall Academy.