The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) have launched the new Igbo and Yoruba early grade reading materials, entitled “Ka anyi guo” and “Je ká kawe” respectively.
With the launch of the learning book, the Igbo and Yoruba curricula have joined successful Hausa programme in North. The resources, it was learnt, has expanded the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading in the country, especially targeting Igbo and Yoruba speaking learners in Primary Grade One to Three in the southern part of the country.
Speaking on the learning resources, the USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, said during the virtual launch that “Teaching children to read in a language they understand equips them with a powerful tool for lifelong learning.”
“Building foundational reading skills accelerate English Language acquisition and other skills and contribute to developing a new generation of leaders equipped to help Nigeria meet the challenges ahead,” she added.
Developed by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council with support from the USAID Northern Education Initiative (NEI) Plus activity, the new Igbo and Yoruba curricula, according to the international agency, will be available for any interested state to adopt, print, and distribute with their own resources.
Patterson noted: “The curriculum is tailored for the 21st Century audience of emerging readers, rich with culturally relevant stories, colourful pictures, gender-balanced representation, and a clear sequence of content that gradually builds upon the abilities of each learner as new skills and proficiencies are acquired.
“Let’s Read promotes active learner engagement, comprehension and critical thinking through three levels of instruction that ensure learners develop critical skills necessary for all aspiring readers; phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
“The comprehensive curriculum package includes learner textbooks and workbooks, teachers’ guides, and storybooks for practice in school or at home, all available at no expense for download.”
On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said: “I commend all these laudable achievements and reiterate that the Ministry of Education will continue to partner with USAID to provide basic education services that promote self-reliance.
We are ready to consolidate and sustain gains made by USAID’s NEI Plus project beyond the two states of Bauchi and Sokoto.” According to him, Bauchi and Sokoto, the first two states supported by NEI Plus, remain positive models and resources for states recently adopting an evidence-based early grade reading curriculum.
Meanwhile, it would be recalled that since October 2015, NEI Plus has delivered over seven million teaching and learning materials to more than one million Primary Grade One and Three learners in 2,500 formal schools.