submitted by wandering KNK Rotarian Gene Medina...

How The Rotary Foundation and Rotary Clubs Make a Difference
For the past year, I have had the privilege of working with The Rotary Foundation’s, Basic Education and Literary Cadre.  The Rotary Foundation has a cadre for each of our six areas of focus (Basic Education and Literacy, Water and Sanitation, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Maternal and Child Health, Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Economic and Community Development--- As our club foundation chair, Bill Maule can elaborate about each).  Each cadre’s primary focus to provide stewardship and assist the Foundation to:
Ensure TRF funds are used effectively and for the purpose in which they were given.
Administer transparent and thorough financial and project management.
As Rotarian volunteers, it is our role to provide these services to the Foundation.

Technical Reviews
Advance Site Visits
Interim Monitor Visits
Post Project Site Visits
Operational Audits

These services are provided as
Application and project advisers

Technical reviewers
Site visitors

During the past year and a half, I have reviewed a global grant application presented by the Beirut, Lebanon Rotary in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Education. This grant focused on providing computers in Lebanese schools.
Most recently, I conducted a post project evaluation of the Belize Literacy Project, a partnership with District 5370 (Alberta, Canada), Belize Rotary Clubs and the Belize Ministry of Education. Just returned the evaluation. It was a fascinating and challenging effort.
The core goal of this humanitarian project (TH 0862844) is to improve student-learning success in the primary schools of Belize (1st through 8th grades in our grade levels the US). As stated in the grant application, the project’s primary objectives are:
Provide professional development for teachers;
Establish and maintain the technical and communications capacity designed to improve teacher support in teaching methods (instruction), curriculum (instructional program) and access to information; and
Improve the educational experience, reduce the student dropout rate by 10% and improve the student pass rate by 25% as measured by the government Grade 8 examinations.

Generally, the primary schools teach students between the ages of five (Infant 1) to  (Standard 6) years. In Belize, schools may be either a government or religious school. Belizean education law may apply differently to one school type or the other. Religion based schools may receive some government funding. This project was implemented in both types of schools.
In 2006-08, the Belize Ministry of Education (MOE) identified the primary school education needs. Its national educational statistics clearly indicated a continuation of the long term declining trend in test results: 60% of Grade 8 students failed to pass the government examination. Simultaneously, only 51.2% of primary teachers had had some form of teacher training.
Rotary District 5370 sent representatives to Belize at the invitation of seven Belize Rotary Clubs and the Ministry of Education to participate in a policy review and strategic thinking and planning process focused on responding to the nation’s educational challenges. As a result, District 5370 and the Belize Rotary Clubs decided to support the Belize government’s strategic responses to improve access to educational resources and improve professional training for educators. They agreed to jointly focus on:
Providing capacity building workshops to improve professional qualifications of primary school teachers;
Creating the capacity to access and use curriculum and teacher support services in English language arts, math and sciences; and
Improving communication and access to knowledge through the availability of computers and access to the Internet for teachers and students.
TH0862844--- Belize Literacy Project was born and began in 2009 and was completed in December, 2012.