TaRL State Team Lead At Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Duration: Fixed Term: April 2021 – April 2022 with possibility of renewal subject to donor funding

Reports to: TaRL Country Manager

Role purpose: Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa seeks a State Team Lead to oversee the implementation of the Kebbi Foundational Skills Accelerator (KeFSA) programme. KeFSA is an accelerated learning intervention, derived from core TaRL principles, aimed at improving foundational literacy and numeracy skills for 30,000 primary 3-5 pupils in Kebbi state. The State Lead will be required to have a holistic view of all the components of the programme ensuring that these components are well managed, aligned with evidence, and apply lessons learned. The role involves working with Kebbi SUBEB, Ministry of Education and TaRL Africa. The State Lead is responsible for providing technical and managerial direction for the successful implementation of the KeFSA. He/she must build and maintain effective relationships with all people involved in the intervention, from senior government officials to international partners to KeFSA team members.

This position is a TaRL Africa hire but will be based at the allocated office in Kebbi for the duration of the KeFSA programme. The jobholder will report to the TaRL Nigeria Country Manager and will manage a team of TaRL Africa staff working on the different components of the KeFSA project in Kebbi. The role will involve travel within Kebbi, as well as infrequent travel elsewhere in Nigeria.

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About Teaching at the Right Level Africa

TaRL Africa is a newly formalised partnership between Education NGO Pratham, and research centre J-PAL, who have been working together developing cost-effective, scalable literacy and numeracy interventions for more than 15 years. The fruits of these efforts have been the development of what we now refer to as the TaRL.

The TaRL approach, pioneered by Pratham, helps children develop basic reading and numeracy skills. In TaRL classroom: children are assessed on basic reading and numeracy using a simple tool; grouped by learning level, rather than by grade, for a dedicated time when they focus building foundational skills through activities and materials appropriate for each group. As children progress, they move to the next learning group and continue to grow.

About the KeFSA Team

KeFSA aims to build foundational Hausa and English literacy and numeracy skills for primary 3 (P3) to primary 5 (P5) children using the TaRL approach. TaRL Africa will work with the Kebbi state government to design and deliver the KeFSA programme to 120 public primary schools in two LGAs of Kebbi State. At a classroom level, the programme will be delivered by teachers.

Implementation of KeFSA is expected to begin in May 2021.

The State Lead will form part both the KeFSA team, which will be made up of TaRL Africa hires and officials from Kebbi SUBEB with links to the TaRL Africa Nigeria and Central teams.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Become a Teaching at the Right Level expert
    • Become an expert on the Teaching at the Right Level methodology and evidence base, by reading the relevant academic papers and learning from the Pratham and J-PAL teams across the world.
    • Be an active member of and contributor to the TaRL Africa team which is thinking about how to adapt the TaRL approach to multiple settings across the continent, ensure that best practices are being applied in Kebbi
    • Work with policymakers and partners in country to build their understanding of Teaching at the Right Level and ensure that lessons learned and evidence is being applied so that the programme remain effective as it moves to scale.
    • Guide the implementation of the training, coaching, and monitoring systems being used in the intervention, and work with all partners to adapt and improve these so that they effectively support the classroom methodology.
  2. Provide technical project management
  3. Take responsibility for achieving the goals of the programme.
  4. Work closely with the Team members to ensure that the programme is on track and is effectively moving towards its goals.
  5. Manage the Numeracy and Hausa Leads as well as the Monitoring and Measurement lead who support the government and collaborate closely with the TaRL Africa central team that is based in countries all over the world.
  6. Maintain critical relationships with government and other partners, and ensure the work with the SUBEB, Ministry of Education and other partners on the programme is coordinated.
  7. Think creatively and carefully with SUBEB, the KeFSAA team, TaRL Africa and other partners about how to improve the TaRL approach in the country such that it can be effectively and efficiently scaled and embedded within government and apply these strategies.
  8. Work with the finance team to submit regular financial reports to funders.
  9. Report on progress of the KeFSA programme to the Steering Committee, TaRL Africa team and to external partners
  10. Contribute to the documentation of measures of the project’s Value for Money
  11. Manage the state programme team
    • Manage the Content Associates and the Monitoring and Measurement lead who supports the government and collaborate closely with the TaRL Africa central team that is based in countries all over the world
    • Provide oversight and direction for the team members
    • Set team goals and priorities regularly and manage work plans
    • Work closely with the Team members to ensure that the programme is on track and is effectively moving towards its goals
    • Foster a cohesive, creative and comfortable working environment while keeping team members motivated
    • Supervise, train and coach team members and provide regular effective feedback
  12. Understand the local context
  13. Understand the education sector in Nigeria, including key partners, and make sure that the programme is coordinated with other actors and interventions.
  14. Ensure that the design and processes of the programme are well contextualised and can be sustained by government and community actors sustainably
  15. Work with Kebbi state government to plan for scale and sustainability
  16. Assist government in financial planning for the KeFSAA scale-up
  17. Provide technical assistance to SUBEB and the Ministry of Education to effectively plan for KeFSA growth
  18. Work with the government and other state development partners to build and track financial models to create a clear understanding of budget requirements and options for managing and reducing costs per beneficiary over time.
  19. Support the relevant government officials to identify financial support for KeFSA, such as UBEC funding and incorporate this into budget processes.
  20. Engage with relevant institutions on how KeFSA could be institutionalised.
  21. Facilitate state to state learning
  22. Coordinate learning journeys for surrounding states

Education and Qualifications

  • Experience working in Northern Nigeria
  • A postgraduate degree in Social Sciences, Development studies, Education or a related field;
  • A minimum of seven years’ experience working in similar positions
  • Good command of written and spoken English


  • Strong preference for Kebbi State resident
  • Language skills: Hausa

How to apply

Please fill in this application form before 25th March 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a writing assessment, followed by an interview process. Due to the large volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to short-listed applicants.

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