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ECL students reading about hippopotamus

Early Childhood Literacy Program

GHEI’s ECL Program offers 12 extra classroom hours per week of individualized instruction to low-performing primary school students. ECL classes are important at this critical age where these students are often not seen as worthy investments and begin to be neglected by their parents and teachers.


Number of ECL graduates since 2009


Students currently enrolled in ECL


ECL Attendance Rate*  


Student/Teacher Ratio


Extra classroom hours per week

* Last five academic years (2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15)




With a focus on building literacy skills, ECL uses a culturally adapted phonics-based curriculum and incorporates purposeful play, songs, and poems. ECL also includes guided and individual reading and writing. Students go through a comprehensive two-year study period that focuses on building skills in speaking, writing and comprehension.



To measure the foundation of literacy acquisition in ECL students, we administer the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) individually to all the students participating in the program. Developed by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) through funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank, EGRA provides a battery of assessments of basic reading skills for developing countries to monitor the status of early reading in primary school children.

The Impact 

ECL program creates a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing of children who may have had to drop out of school due to below-average performances. Over the years, we have achieved positive results that crucially support the harmonious and holistic development of the child’s personality.

In 2016, we conducted an evaluation looking at ECL students in relation to their peers and how the kids were doing years after completing the program. 

By the end of one year of the GHEI program, our students could identify almost twice as many letters as their randomly selected peers in the same grade.

By the end of two years of the GHEI program, students could identify 17 words per minute on average, while their randomly selected peers in the same grade could not identify any.

Of all of the children from ECL, including those who have graduated up to 5 years ago, 97% are in the top 75% of their class and 59% are in the top half of their class.  This is a tremendous achievement considering they started as the worst performing, and were at high risk for dropping out.  None of our ECL students have dropped out of school.

ECL class in action!

Unlock a Child's Potential

With your donation, you are working together with GHEI to improve the quality of education in rural Ghana. 

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