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Inclusive child-to-child learning approach: scaling up inclusive play-based learning for smooth transition from pre-primary to primary school

When children play and interact with one another, they develop long-term social and emotional capabilities and their developing brains are given the chance to grow in a nurturing, language-rich and relatively unhurried environment. There are many documented play-based and experiential approaches for promoting children’s learning and readiness for primary school. However, across many contexts in Africa, play-based learning is often ignored in preschool and early grades of primary school in favour of academic-focused education that is abstract and less experiential. Most promising play-based approaches remain within organizations and at the pilot stage because of minimal sharing of lessons and scaling-up efforts. One such model is the child-to-child approach, a play-based approach that encourages children to build knowledge as they play and relate with one another.

The child-to-child model has been shown to promote smooth transition from preschool to primary school as older children help younger children to acquire school-readiness skills, literacy and social skills in communities where formal preschools are either unavailable or not well equipped. The child-to-child approach views children as a resource to help meet the psychosocial and learning needs of other children and families living in difficult circumstances. Child-to-child’s core principle of meaningful participation maintains that children can and should be actively involved in improving their own situation and that of their family and neighbours. This project will generate knowledge on how to adopt and scale up the child-to-child model at national and community levels to improve transition of children from pre-primary to primary school in Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda.

This project is one of the five projects selected through a Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange call for proposals for early learning in East, West and Southern Africa: Generating and mobilizing innovative knowledge for regional education challenges.

Project ID
Project Status
22 months
IDRC Officer
Joy Nafungo
Total Funding
CA$ 999,400.00
Education and Science
Knowledge and Innovation Exchange Program
Institution Country
Kyambogo University