In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal Learning Solutions, a UK not-for-profit organization, has launched the Nigerians Educate Everywhere at a Distance (NEED) project for students and pupils to learn at home with ease.
According to the CEO of Universal Learning Solutions, Gary Foxcroft, ‘The NEED project has been developed quickly as part of our response to the Covid-19 crisis.”
“We wish to implore all state governments and wider development partners to work with us to promote this Jolly Phonics distance learning program and enable children to access the right to literacy from home”, saying that all resources were available for free on the website – www.jollyphonics.ng.
Mr. Foxcroft stated that the programme has been developed to help support the call by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for states to develop programmes which ensure that young learners learn at home whilst schools are closed.
He said that the programme which deliver Africa’s largest and most effective English literacy programme in Nigeria, focused on providing face to face training and support to Nigerian government school and primary school teachers using the fun and effective English literacy method, has been proven to dramatically raise early grade literacy levels in Nigeria and globally.
However, due to COVID-19 situation, the organization changed its approach by creating a range of amazing free distance learning solutions that could be accessed in a variety of ways.
The CEO revealed that Universal Learning Solutions has produced a 50 episode Jolly Phonics TV Lessons series after the announcement of school closure due to COVID-19 to directly benefit Nigerian children and Nigerian Jolly Phonics trainers has recorded a 42 part radio show for the North and South of the country.
He also stated that the organization has also developed a free Jolly Phonics App and Africa-based Story Reading App on a dedicated website – www.jollphonics.ng – where all the audio, video and App content can be accessed and also a range of free worksheets and activities to keep children occupied in at home.
For families with no electricity, Mr. Foxcroft stated that Universal Learning Solutions would send SMS messages to as many parents as possible including a full Jolly Phonics lessons course, developed in bite-sized chunks for parents.
He explained that State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) in Zamfara, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Abia, Anambra, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Ekiti States have embraced the project through airing the radio show on a range of stations.
The benefits of Jolly Phonics are numerous, some of which include that it is full of fun and a multisensory programme for teaching young learners how to read and write with confidence, it is packed with activities that children love and learners feel like they are playing, yet learning.
Others are it help to read words in English, also helps learners learn how to read Hausa words.