From: Femi Oyelola, kaduna
A group under the auspices of Universal Learning Solutions (ULS) has trained 960 primary one teachers and 40 education officials in Kaduna State, on how to use sounds, letters and fun to teach primary pupils how to read and write.
Mr. Richard Turnbull, Senior Project Manager in the NGO said at the opening of the training in Kaduna Centre, that the training is being conducted in collaboration with Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Turnbull explained that the beneficiaries were selected from all local government areas of the state, adding that others were trained in Zaria while the ones in Kaduna and Zankwa centres would be concluded today (Thursday).
He said that the method, called jolly phonics, is a special literacy teaching method, designed to equip teachers with the expertise and tools required to improve reading and writing skills in English of primary one pupils in public schools.
He described jolly phonics as a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic sounds, widely recognised as the most effective way to teach children to read and write in English.
According to him, synthetic phonics is recommended because it helps children to learn how to read and write quickly.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Kaduna SUBEB to deliver this intensive training to teachers and dedicated government officials of Kaduna State.”
He thanked the Kaduna state government for the opportunity to work together for the children of the state toward a brighter future.
He equally thanked the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for its continued support for the adoption of Jolly Phonics in government schools across Nigeria;
“UBEC have really recognised the tremendous impact that Jolly Phonics has been having on literacy levels in Nigeria’s government schools and have taken it on as one of their flagship programmes.
“This has helped us to initiate new projects across the country. Jolly Phonics will be in all 36 states, and FCT, by the end of this year.
“This will help to improve the reading and writing abilities of over one million children over the next two years,” the official said.
Malam Ja’afaru Sani, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology said that the training was one among several capacity building programmes being orgainsed to strengthen the capacity of teachers in the state.
“This is because we cannot achieve the quality we desire in our public schools without improving the quality of our teachers.
“We will continue to do our best in ensuring that teachers are well motivated and equip with skills to deliver quality teaching in public schools so our children can have a better future,” Sani said.
One of the participants, Mrs. Hauwa Sherika, commended the NGO and the state government for organising the training, describing it as a new experience fun-filled teaching method that would improve teaching and learning in schools.