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Innovation in Education: The Luminos Fund

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Member Spotlight*

This month’s member spotlight highlights the Luminos Fund and their Speed School Program, an accelerated learning program. In September, 2017 the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an international initiative for innovation and collaboration in education, awarded the Luminos Fund’s Speed School project as a winner of its 2017 WISE Award, which recognizes and promotes innovative education initiatives around the world.

In Africa, the Speed School Program works in Ethiopia and Liberia.  The program began in Ethiopia in 2011 working with children who were denied education or an opportunity to get back to school.  To date, it has served over 100,000 children in over 3,700 schools. The Luminos Fund is a private donor philanthropic fund that was previously known as the Speed School Fund. In February 2017 the name was changed to reflect their dedication to creating education innovations that unlock the light within every child. 

The Speed School targets out-of-school children ages 9 to 14 and works with them to achieve basic reading, writing and math literacy. After completing the one year program students can enter the local community school to study with students their own age. The model is comprised of three components:

  1. Children go through a 10-month accelerated learning program designed to cover the first three grades and prepare them to enter grade four.
  2. The community is mobilized through parent engagement groups designed to build parent support for keeping their children in school. 
  3. Working with primary and head teachers in community schools to expose them to the Speed School model to ensure support for Speed School graduates. 

The Luminos Fund works with local Ministries of Education to tailor the Speed School model to the needs of the community,  identify the priority areas where the program operates, and ensure children transition into mainstream schools.

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*Member Spotlight highlights how members of AGAG are working to promote robust, effective, and responsive philanthropy to benefit African communities.