UK-funded programme to improve English Language reading, writing in primary schools

Cross section of participants at the the ongoing three-day material development workshop for primary schools 1 to 3 in Kano. (NAN)

THE Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE) programme, is working with education stakeholders to improve reading and writing in English Language among primary school pupils.

PLANE’s Education Coordinator, Ms Zahra Abubakar, stated this on Thursday, at the ongoing three-day material development workshop for primary schools one to three in Kano.

The workshop was organised by PLANE to support Kaduna, Kano, and Jigawa states, develop materials to improve learning outcomes in primary schools.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that PLANE is a seven-year UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office-funded programme, designed to drive inclusive education and improve learning outcomes in Nigeria.

Abubakar pointed out that most pupils finished primary school, but could not read nor write simple English passages or sentences.

She explained that the goal was to ensure that pupils learnt to read and write in English, as they transited from primary one and two to primary three.

She said that the transition from being taught in Hausa to English language in primary three required a strong foundation in English language vocabulary, grammar and reading skills.

The education coordinator explained that the PLANE approach to English transition was for the learners to explore the English language through engaging the pupils in reading, listening, speaking, grammar and writing.

“It is also to introduce pupils to the English language in ways that parallel their learning of Hausa with similarities and differences clearly highlighted.

“This will equally enable the learners to grasp vocabulary and grammar content that will support relevant learning in other subjects like mathematics,” she said.

She further said that to achieve this, PLANE would build on the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria, and Northern Education Initiative materials for their well-aligned lesson plan to the English language curriculum.

She also said that simple songs, stories and phonics-focused texts would continue to be used throughout the lessons.

She added that PLANE lessons would follow a format consistent with Hausa literacy and mathematics lessons, and would include clearly labelled headings and sections.

Also, Dr Aminu Saidu, Principal Research Officer, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, said that the structure of the English studies curriculum consisted of reading, listening, speaking and grammatical accuracy.

Saidu added that the structure for the primary three English curriculum also focused on reading, writing, listening, and speaking and grammatical accuracy.

NAN reports that PLANE is working to deliver a more inclusive and effective education system that improves learning outcomes for pupils in pre-primary and primary school years.

The programme focuses on improving basic education and tackling fundamental system constraints.

The development of a foundational literacy material package was one of the integral components of the PLANE programme.

This is in line with the delivery of the PLANE mandates of providing schools, teachers, and learners with accessible foundational skill packages across Kaduna, Kano, and Jigawa states. (NAN)

KN