Education Endures: Room to Read’s Award-winning Literacy and Gender Equality Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • P Project/Program

Key Information

Since the spread of COVID-19, all 16 of the countries where we work have experienced full or partial school closures. We have worked diligently to find new ways to deliver our programs. Our staff members live and work in the countries where Room to Read operates. They are local nationals with a deep understanding of complex community needs and cultures, and strong government relationships that allow us to partner for maximum impact. This enables us to facilitate learning using the most powerful tools and media available locally.

Our educational interventions do not depend on internet connectivity alone as it is largely unavailable in the areas we serve. We offer a range of interventions, from lowtech to high-tech. These include providing instruction and materials via books, worksheets, radio, TV, text messages, telephone calls and our digital learning platform, Literacy Cloud.

Lead Implementing Organization(s)


2020 -


Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zambia


Not applicable or unknown


Not applicable or unknown

COVID-19 Response


Government Affiliation


Ministry Affiliation


Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas


  • Remote Learning

Other skills

  • Rights/empowerment education
  • Social and emotional learning


  • Teacher training


  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Other academic performance-related
  • STEM

Cross-cutting areas

  • COVID-19 Response
  • Community sensitization
  • Empowerment
  • Gender equality
  • Mentorship

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

Boys (both in school and out of school), Fathers, Girls (both in school and out of school), Mothers, Parent-teacher associations/school management committees, Teachers - female, Teachers - male


5 - 18

School Enrolment Status

Some in school

School Level

  • Lower primary
  • Upper primary
  • Lower secondary
  • Upper secondary

Other populations reached

Not applicable or unknown

Participants include

Not applicable or unknown

Program Approaches Back to Top

Access to school

  • Alternative learning centers/mobile schools/home schools


  • Gender-sensitive curricula
  • Increased availability of learning materials

Educational Technology

  • Computer-assisted learning
  • Digital devices for the purposes of studying, learning
  • Digital learning materials/programs
  • Digital reading materials (non-textbook)
  • Digital skills/literacy (including coding)
  • Digital textbooks
  • Online training

Increased availability of learning materials

  • Educational Radio or Television Programs
  • Increased availability of Fiction/non-fiction books (digital)
  • Increased availability of Fiction/non-fiction books (paper)
  • Increased availability of Fiction/non-fiction books (unspecified)
  • Increased availability of Math materials (rulers, protractors, calculators, etc.)
  • Increased availability of Writing materials
  • Textbooks (digital)
  • Textbooks (paper)
  • Textbooks (unspecified)

Mentoring/psychosocial support

  • Adult (non-teacher) mentors
  • School-based counselors


  • Informational interventions (e.g. returns to education)

Reducing economic barriers

  • Addressing cost of school supplies

School-related gender-based violence

  • Support in and around schools (e.g. peer counseling, adult-to-student counseling)
  • Training of school personnel (including teachers)

Social/gender norms change

  • Engaging parents/caregivers of students or school-age children/adolescents


  • Teaching materials (e.g. lesson plans, curricula)

Tutoring/strengthening academic skills

  • Literacy - in the classroom
  • Literacy - outside the classroom
  • Numeracy - in the classroom
  • Numeracy - outside the classroom
  • STEM - in the classroom
  • STEM - outside the classroom

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Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Improved academic skills (literacy and numeracy)
  • Increased literacy
  • Increased numeracy
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Reduced grade repetition

Cross-cutting goals

  • Increased agency and empowerment
  • More equitable gender attitudes and norms