The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) have jointly launched the new Igbo and Yoruba early grade reading materials for southern Nigerian schools.
The are titled Ka anyi gụo for Igbo and Jẹ ká kawe for Yoruba schools.
The USAID said on Thursday in Abuja the books expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading in Nigeria.
The agency the resource materials were targeting all Igbo and Yoruba speaking primary grade 1 to 3 learners in Nigeria’s southern regions.
“Teaching children to read in a language they understand equips them with a powerful tool for lifelong learning,” USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson said in a virtual launch ceremony.
“Building foundational reading skills accelerates English language acquisition and other skills and contributes to developing a new generation of leaders equipped to help Nigeria meet the challenges ahead,” Ms Patterson said.
Developed by the Research and Development Council with support from the USAID Northern Education Initiative (NEI) Plus activity, the new Igbo and Yoruba curricula would be available for any interested state to adopt, print, and distribute with their own resources.
The USAID said the curriculum was tailored for a 21st-century audience of emerging readers, rich with culturally relevant stories, colorful 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.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at the launch commended the achievements by the USAID and reiterated the Ministry of Education’s commitment to continue to partner 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,” Mr Nwajiuba said.
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.
Since October 2015, NEI Plus has delivered over seven million teaching and learning materials to more than one million primary grade 1 through 3 learners in 2,500 formal schools.
USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help nations progress beyond assistance.
In Nigeria, USAID supports health systems strengthening, transparent and accountable governance, basic education, and a more market-led, trade-friendly economy.
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