USAID, NERDC Launch Yoruba, Igbo Early Grade Book
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council have launched the new Igbo and Yoruba early grade reading materials entitled: Ka Anyi guo! and Je Ká kawe!.
These resources expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading in Nigeria, targeting all Igbo and Yoruba speaking primary grade 1 to 3 learners in the southern regions.
“Teaching children to read in a language they understand equips them with a powerful tool for lifelong learning,” said USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson during a virtual launch last weekend.
“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 Research and Development Council with support from the USAID Northern Education Initiative (NEI) Plus activity, the new Igbo and Yoruba curricula will be available for any interested state to adopt, print, and distribute with their own resources.
The curriculum is 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.
Praising the books, Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said at the launch: “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.”
Bauchi and Sokoto were the first two states supported by NEI Plus, which other states can learn from.