Primary Schools Program

Improving Primary Education for 1 Million Students Worldwide

Opportunity Education supports 1,711 primary schools in 11 countries, and works with over 5,000 teachers worldwide.

A table illustrating that OE's Primary School Program supports diverse schools around the world.


More Than Just Attendance

Most children in the world today attend primary school and completion rates in most countries exceed 90%. But Opportunity Education believes that students need academic mastery and relevant, practical skills in order to succeed in education and career.

An empty, rickety-looking classroom. There are wooden desks, a green door, and a large window. Sun shines in through the roof.
Five middle school children smile at the camera. They were a part of the primary school program previously run by Opportunity Education.

A Major Investment

Through our Primary Schools Program, we have so far provided tens of millions of dollars to deliver high-quality educational materials to schools worldwide. From an award-winning series of educational DVDs in a wide range of subjects, DVD players and TVs, to notebooks, maps, counting blocks and more, we deliver everything schools need to lift educational quality in grades 1 through 8, worldwide.

Watch the Primary School Program’s work change lives around the world


Fascinating Beginnings

Learn about how the Opportunity Education Primary School Program began, and see the school that inspired it all.

Behind the Scenes

See how the Primary School Program lessons are created and filmed in Omaha, Nebraska.

Education Makes a World of Difference

Hear Michelle Silverthorn discuss how investing in education not only provides hope and perspective for students, but also the power to pull them out of poverty.

Schools of Hope

Hear teachers and school leaders around the world discuss the positive impact of Opportunity Education’s learning materials on their schools.


Award-Winning DVDs

Our award-winning DVDs cover a wide range of topics, from grades 1 through 8, including reading, mathematics, integrated sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, earth science, creative arts, language arts, social studies, and more.

The program also includes teacher training DVDs, teacher workbooks for all subjects, and all the supplies needed for the lessons covered by the DVDs. Of course, each school receives two DVD players and two TVs to make sure teachers can use the DVDs with their students.

A 2x3 grid depicting the different DVDs that were created for the Primary School Program. Their titles are "Let's Learn Reading," "Let's Learn Creative Arts," "Let's Learn English Language Arts," "Let's Learn More Physics," "Let's Learn Mathematics," "Let's Learn Science."
Three young students in Nepal sit and play with colorful blocks. They were a part of Opportunity Education's Primary Program.


Built by Teachers, for Teachers

The Primary Schools Program was built by US primary school teachers for teachers worldwide. We made each DVD with appropriate lesson plans, and filmed teachers working with students in the target age group. Each DVD includes a rich set of lessons that showcase both effective teachers and engaged students.

“With the introduction of the Opportunity Education Programme to the District in the year 2008, enrollment in the 20 schools has gone up… attendance has improved… and reading ability has been raised from 47% to 60%.”

– Ghana Education Service, 2011

Supporting Worldwide Learning

The Primary School Program supports schools in 11 countries. In each of these countries, Opportunity Education established a country-wide distribution system to deliver school materials after arrival on a container ship to each school in the Program.

In several countries, the Program was implemented with the support of globally experienced, reputable partners, including World Vision, United Missions to Nepal, and others.

Primary Partner Logos

About the Program

The Primary School Program was established by Opportunity Education Foundation CEO Joe Ricketts in 2005. Executive Director Alan Barkley launched the Program initially in Tanzania and expanded it across Africa, and former President & COO Jim Ricketts scaled the Program with teams in each country to reach over 1 million students worldwide by 2017.

At the current time, the Primary School Program is not enrolling additional schools. We may reopen the Program to new schools at a future time. In the meantime, please explore our Quest Forward Learning Program, which serves secondary school students in Tanzania and the USA, and will extend to additional countries soon.

Joe Rickets and Alan Barkley sit next to each other. They wear all white with red leis draped around their necks.