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January 30, 2024

Book Handover Ceremony

Madam Secretary General,

Mr. Mayor of the Biscuiterie commune,

Madam Director of Elementary Education,

Mr. Inspecteur d’Académie de Dakar,

Madam Inspect​rice​​ ​de l’Education et de la Formation de Grand Dakar,

Monsieur le Directeur de l’École Élémentaire Amadou Diagne Woré,

Dear teachers, parents, and students,

Dear guests,


I am delighted to be here today to celebrate our highly productive partnership with the Government of Senegal in the field of primary education, and to reaffirm the United States’ strong support for quality education for Senegalese children.

Education is critical in shaping a child’s future well-being and success, and strong reading ability is one of the foundational skills that enables all other learning.

That’s why we’ve made early reading such a high priority for our mission.

We are proud to be working hand in hand with the Ministry of Education since 2016 to help Senegalese children learn to read and write in their native languages, supporting the Government of Senegal’s educational reform program, the Modele harmonisé d’educationbilingue au Sénégal, commonly called MOHEBS.

MOHEBS is an important reform that is transforming the state of education in Senegal.

By training teachers to use bilingual instructional methods and learning materials that are backed by substantial research, we have seen again and again how the use of local language instruction from the very early grades has boosted literacy results.

We salute Senegal for its vision for reform in education and remain committed to helping you achieve this objective.

Madam Secretary General, this book handover ceremony is an opportunity to highlight the exemplary cooperation between Senegal and the United States in the education sector, and to acknowledge the significant progress we have already made together.

Through the Lecture pour Tous program that ended in 2021, our partnership provided 3.2 million units of educational materials to help children learn in the local languages they have grown up speaking and understanding, which made learning to read and write more accessible and set them up for future success in school.

Our partnership under this program enabled over 600,000 early primary grade students to improve their reading scores.

The current follow-on program, Renforcement de la Lecture Initiale Pour Tous, or RELIT, aims to reach an additional 1.2 million students in nine out of Senegal’s fourteen regions.

Today’s ceremony highlights U.S support for the Ministry of Education in distributing about 630,000 student textbooks, teachers’ guides, and alphabet charts at the beginning of this academic year.

This represents an investment of approximately ​960 million CFA ​ and demonstrates our commitment to continuously improve learning outcomes for all children in Senegal.

We know that helping kids improve their reading and writing skills will boost their performance throughout their schooling, and better performance in school will mean better opportunities after graduation and greater contributions to families, communities, and the country as a whole.

We look forward to continuing our work together to help students learn today and lead tomorrow.