VANCOUVER, BC—The Comparative International Education Society (CIES) is holding CIES 2016 at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre in Vancouver, BC from March 6-10, 2016. This event is hosted by The University of Hong Kong: Faculty of Education and Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) and marks the 60th anniversary of the annual conference. With over 500 sessions and 2,500 attendees, the CIES conference offers education professionals the opportunity to increase their understanding of educational issues, trends and policies through comparative, cross-cultural and international perspectives.

Dr. Jimmy Leak, Education Program Strategic Advisor for Nuru International, will join a panel on global literacy on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 8:00-9:30 AM featuring:

  • Maggie Dunlop, OISE, University of Toronto (panel chair) presenting “Results of First Nations School Reorganization for Increased Student Reading Achievement”
  • Dr. Jimmy Leak, Nuru International presenting “English Literacy Outreach Program in Kenya: A New Approach”
  • Rebecca Thornton, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presenting “Making the Grade: Understanding what Works for Teaching Literacy in Rural Uganda”

In addition, Dr. Leak will chair the “The African Storybook Project: Early Literacy, Digital innovation and Social Change” session on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 3:00-4:30 PM featuring:

  • Juliet Tembe, South African Institute for Distance Education presenting “Literacy Projects and the Publishing Industry in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities” and “The African Storybook Project: Back to the Future in Early Literacy”
  • Espen Stranger-Johannessen, University of British Columbia presenting “Teacher Identity and the African Storybook Project in Uganda”
  • Ingrid Schechter, University of British Columbia presenting “Student Teachers as Stakeholders: The African Storybook Project in Mozambique”

“The annual CIES conference is the largest gathering of international education experts coming from NGOs, academia, the private sector and government,” says Dr. Leak. “I’m honored to present Nuru Kenya’s Literacy Outreach program and its impact over the past several years to the Global Literacy Special Interest Group. This conference is a great opportunity to network with leaders in the sectors of literacy, teaching and community-based education initiatives, all areas that Nuru is working in. Also, I also look forward to attending several sessions to learn more about USAID’s Education in Conflict and Crisis Network (ECCN) for lessons and best practices for future Nuru projects in highly fragile states.”

In a letter from CIES President N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba, she highlights “Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which also emphasized the global commitment to ‘Achieve Universal Primary Education’ expired in 2015. However, according to UNESCO Policy Paper 22 dated July 2015 ‘the global number of out-of-school children of primary school age rose by 2.4 million between 2010 and 2013, reaching a total of more than 59 million,’ most of whom were girls. Furthermore, poor quality, inadequate relevance and external efficiency, and functional illiteracy persist. Climate change and new patterns of open and latent conflicts and their impacts across the globe highlight the reality of our common humanity and destiny. The United Nations has adopted the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We are challenged to attune our scholarly and practical leadership and contributions to critical knowledge in the search for solutions.”

For live conference updates via Twitter, follow @CIES2016, #CIES2016 and @JimmyLeak_PhD

For more information about CIES 2016 and conference activities, visit:

For more information about Nuru International, visit:

About CIES

The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), Inc., was founded in 1956 to foster cross-cultural understanding, scholarship, academic achievement and societal development through the international study of educational ideas, systems, and practices.

The Society’s members include more than 2000 academics, practitioners, and students from around the world. Their professional work is built on cross-disciplinary interests and expertise as historians, sociologists, economists, psychologists, anthropologists, and educators. The Society also includes approximately 1000 institutional members, primarily academic libraries and international organizations.

About Nuru International

Nuru International is a U.S.-based social venture on a mission to end extreme poverty in remote, rural areas. It establishes sustainable community development projects, such as Nuru Kenya and Nuru Ethiopia, to deliver high touch, holistic programming – in Agriculture, Financial  Inclusion, Healthcare and Education – to engage all household members in building resilience and ending intergenerational poverty.

For more information, please contact:

Kim Do

Strategic Communications Director