ECSU receives $3 million from USAID

Marsha McLean
November 11, 2005On Monday, November 7, 2005, Dr. Sarah Moten, education chief of the Africa Bureau of the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officially kicked off phase two of President George W. Bush's Africa Education Initiative (AEI) Textbooks and Learning Materials Program (TLMP) in Alexandria, VA. USAID hosted a three-day conference for the six Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) selected to participate in this second phase of the initiative that will run from 2005-2008. Elizabeth City State University is one of the current six institutions and is one of only two institutions continuing of the original six selected in the first phase of the initiative. As such, the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as part of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, has awarded $3 million to Elizabeth City State University to provide support for the "Textbook and Learning Materials Program." The three-year grant period is October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2008. The phase two selection process expanded to a larger group of higher education institutions nationwide beyond HBCUs. In addition to HBCUs, the 2005 TLMP grant opportunity was extended to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), broadening the program yet making it more competitive for the potential grant recipients. Even among the more stringent and competitive environment, Elizabeth City State University prevailed and is one of six MSIs awarded Cooperative Agreements to work with six African countries. The recipients and their partner African countries are: Elizabeth City State University, Senegal
Chicago State University , Ghana
University of Texas at San Antonio , South Africa
Alabama A & M University, Ethiopia
South Carolina State University , Tanzania
Mississippi Consortium for International, Zambia
Development (MCID) The first phase of the textbook and learning materials program (TLMP) occurred in 2003-04 with a consortium of six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) which included Elizabeth City State University. As a result of the first phase of TLMP, Elizabeth City State University rose to be a leader in the preparation of textbooks among the six HBCUs, resulting in the provision of 270,000 textbooks for the French-speaking country of Senegal in West Africa. The ECSU leadership team is headed by Dr. Johnny Houston, professor of Mathematics in the ECSU Mathematics and Computer Science department and project administrator of the African textbook project. Dr. Houston cited the projects as being both rewarding and challenging. "ECSU's Leadership Team exchanged ideas with the Senegalese team to discuss the philosophy, pedagogy and curriculum issues involved while developing these books. We had to make sure the curriculum was consistent with Senegal's requests," Houston said. "After the modifications and the field testing, we began the initial development for two additional publications for the following year." Now in the second phase of the Africa Education Initiative, the $3 million grant recently received by ECSU will build on the lessons learned in the first phase according to USAID. The objective is for each university to provide its country with 600,000 copies of textbooks and learning materials by 2008. Specifically, as ECSU and Senegal enter into the second phase, their overall objective will be to capitalize on the positive results of the past USAID effort which resulted in the 270,000 textbooks being provided to Senegal's public schools, grades 1 through 8. Another In-Country Needs Assessment Review will be conducted before finalizing the Work Plan for 2005-06 and future needs. ECSU and Senegal will remain focused on their already established four objectives: o To develop more opportunities for elementary school students to access learning materials in science, mathematics and language arts; o To build more capacity for Senegal in textbook and learning material design, development, and printing; o To increase available teaching and learning materials in mathematics, sciences, and language arts for the elementary schools in Senegal; o To establish a long-lasting, sustainable partnership among the Senegal's Ministry of Education, the University of Senegal, ECSU, and the community in textbook and learning materials design, development, and management. Chancellor Mickey L. Burnim is pleased that Elizabeth City State University is the recipient of this USAID grant for the second time. "Dr. Houston and his team of faculty and professionals are to be commended for building a reputation that afforded ECSU the opportunity to continue its efforts in improving educational opportunities for the children of Senegal. The diligent efforts to develop textbooks and have them translated into French was a monumental task, particularly when ECSU was the only institution partnered with a non-English speaking country. We are very pleased to have met our goals and to be continuing our partnership with Senegal and USAID." President George W. Bush's foreign assistance initiative is responding to critical educational needs in Africa that include the need of textbooks and other learning materials. The initiative originated in June 2002, when President Bush announced his commitment to improve Africa's education through the Africa Education Initiative (AEI). To address critical educational needs in that continent, the AEI consists of three components: teacher training, scholarships for girls at the primary and secondary levels, and textbooks and other learning materials.