From Austine Tule, Makurdi
In efforts to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, a Non-Governmental Organization, known as Universal Learning Solutions (ULS) has launched the Nigerians Educate Everywhere at a Distance project (NEED) to enable pupils learn at home.
The AUTHORITY gathered that project is developed with Jolly Phonics to help support the call by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for states to develop programmes to ensure that young pupils learn at home while schools are closed.
It was gathred further that 15 State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) of Benue, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Abia, Anambra, Jigawa, Niger, Lagos, Adamawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Ebonyi and Ekiti States have already keyed into the project through airing the Radio show or Television lesson on a range of stations.
Speaking at the event, Kaduna State SUBEB Chairman, Abdullahi Sani, who highlighted the benefits of Jolly Phonics in his introduction to the radio broadcast said, ‘it is a fun and multisensory programme for teaching young learners how to read and write with confidence’.
Sani said, “the programme is packed with activities that children love. They feel like they are playing, yet they are learning, as it helps to read words in English, it also helps them learn how to read Hausa words”.
He added that as soon as school closure was announced, Universal Learning Solutions produced a 50 episode Jolly Phonics TV Lessons series to directly benefit Nigerian children.
He informed further that Nigerian Jolly Phonics trainers recorded a 42 part Radio show for the North and South of the country and a free Jolly Phonics Apps and Africa-based Story Reading Apps have been made available on a dedicated website – www.jollphonics.ng – where all the audio, video and App content can be accessed”.
Sani stressed that the programme focuses on providing face to face training and support to Nigerian government schools, primary school teachers using this fun and effective English literacy method, which has been proven to dramatically raise Early Grade Literacy Levels in Nigeria and globally.
For families with no electricity, ULS will be sending SMS messages to as many parents as possible including a full Jolly Phonics lessons course, developed in bite-sized chunks for parents.
In his remarks, Chief Executive Officer, ULS, Gary Foxcroft said, the NEED project has been developed quickly as part of response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Foxcroft enjoined state governments and other development partners to partner with the organization with a view to promoting its activities which he noted would enable children have access to education even while at home.