By Rita Iliya
The Niger State Universal Basic Education (NSUBEB) on Wednesday in Minna partnered the Universal Learning Solutions Initiative(ULS), a non-profit organisation, to train 2,625 teachers and 50 government officials on Jolly Phonics literacy teaching methodology.
Mr Vic Poluektoff, the Senior Project Manager of ULS, said that the training was to equip teachers with the expertise and tools.
He said that the methods were “to enable them to improve on reading and writing skills in English of Early Childcare Development (ECCD) for primary one to three pupils in government schools across the state.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day training was for 750 teachers of Early Childcare Development (ECCD), 1,875 primary one to three teachers and 50 officials across Minna, Mokwa, Kontagora, Bida, Agaie and Suleja centres.
NAN also reports that Jolly Phonics is a fun and interactive teaching tool that uses the synthetic phonics literacy teaching methodology introduced in the state in 2017 under Teacher Professional Development initiative.
Poluektoff said that the teachers, selected from 25 local government education authorities (LGEAs) were being trained in specialist literacy teaching practices called ‘synthetic phonics’.
He said that the synthetic phonics had been recommended by governments around the world because of the way it provides children with the skills needed to read and write.
“I will particularly like to thank the Executive Chairman of Niger SUBEB, Dr Isa Adamu, and the rest of NSUBEB Team for their wisdom, strength and initiative in inviting us to work in the state to give the children a brighter future,” he said.
Earlier, the ULS Projects’ Director, Dr Louise Gittins, said that the Jolly Phonics project was well embedded in the hearts and minds of the teachers in the state.
He said that the project would be expanded to reach more teachers this year with the Teachers Professional Development (TPD) initiative.
Similarly, Mr Gary Foxcroft, the Chief Executive Officer of ULS, lauded the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), for its continued support and adoption of Jolly Phonics in government schools across Nigeria.
“UBEC has really recognised the tremendous impact Jolly Phonics has been making on literacy levels in Nigeria’s government schools and has taken it as one of its flagship programmes,” he said.
Foxcroft said that the programme had helped in initiating new projects across the country as Jolly Phonics was being taught across the 36 states and the FCT.
He added that the programme would assist in improving the reading and writing abilities of over 3.5 million children within the next two years.