Learning to Read – Reading to Learn

Winter, 2024
Dear Friends of SET;

Support.Education.Togo. began with a dream. Our dream was to improve access to safe and secure schools, and to improve the quality of education in villages in the Maritime region of Togo, West Africa. Dreams can only become real with the generous support of folks like you.


By building 13 solid schools, primary grade students no longer needed to learn in open-walled thatched huts. No rain, no mud, no vermin.

In 2023, with SET’s support, parents in Démocratie completed two building projects. First, to make a government-built school useable again, villagers contributed their scarce funds, labour and materials. Second, the need for a sturdy kindergarten meant persistent negotiation by SET with the government, then construction by villagers with partial SET funding.

A new kindergarten for these five-year-olds built by Démocratie parents

Quality of Education

Improving access to education catalysed us to focus on raising the quality of teaching, hence the level of learning.

Two Togolese-Canadian educators, Serge Akagnonite and Angèle Aklah, designed a system for effective literacy teaching. The two also ran workshops for 35 educators. Using the new system, those teachers participate in a pilot project in six SET schools.

A Lomé senior university professor, former schoolteacher, and school supervisor, Kodjo Mlope, was hired half-time to become our on-the-ground teacher-mentor and guide. Just as SET prioritized the strength of school buildings, it emphasizes the thoroughness of its teacher training program.

Supplementing Kodjo’s expertise with that of another senior educator made sense. Sam Komi Hometohou, hired half time in 2023, also observes teachers in the classroom, coaches them, and helps with bi-monthly teacher workshops.

Kodjo Mlope (left) SET Teacher-Mentor and Sam Komi Hometohou (right) signing contract for Associate Teacher-Mentor

In May 2024 SET directors, Don Barclay and Simon Carette will assist in a major evaluation project. The literacy skills of eight hundred grade-three pupils whose teachers have taught them using the new system throughout three years will be evaluated. Has SET made a difference to the quality of these Togolese children’s education? We believe so, but the 2024 evaluation will determine the next stages of SET’s dream. We thank our donors for their gifts which mirror their belief in our hopes, plans and decisions. On behalf of the Togolese children and their parents we thank you for dreaming about a different future for Togo.

3 thoughts on “Learning to Read – Reading to Learn”

  1. What you are doing in Togo will make an incredible difference in the lives of the children. And they in turn will make a difference in their communities.

  2. Michele Marie Parkin

    Congratulations on the ongoing success of this endeavour which is critical to the well-being of the community. Thank you for the work that you are doing!

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