The School Performance Component of BEAMS provided an integrated program to enhance early literacy and numeracy among Guyana's school-age population, including those from remote and poverty-stricken regions. IDD provided technical support to improve quality teaching and learning with appropriate technologies. To that end, IDD developed daily Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) programs that provided core mathematics instruction for grades 1–3 in all Guyanese government schools. As a group, students participated in math exercises, songs, and games led by radio characters while teachers facilitated the interaction and developed the habit of using more effective techniques. Guyana’s nearly 18,000 first-grade pupils quickly benefited from the IRI program. A large, nationwide sample of first-graders tested showed significant improvements in mathematics achievement after just the first year of the program. BEAMS established computer labs with instructional software in 14 schools and used lower-cost technologies in 120 additional schools. The program provided training in using these tools to support high-quality literacy and numeracy instruction. BEAMS also used CD-ROMs and digital video to enhance teacher professional development.
Government of Guyana
Inter-American Development Bank