Vice President McKee, a Reading Remediation Specialist, and Karon Harden, an English Language and Literature instructor, recently became involved with the STELLAR Project, a collaboration between Jolly Phonics, Universal Basic Education Commission, and the Ministry of Education, Adamawa State. It will train teachers and eventually implement new literacy curriculum in all first-grade classes.
As of 2009, Adamawa State had a reported 1,890 public primary schools with 378,433 enrolled students, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 2012. In spite of this, of the children age 5-16 tested in the State in the Nigeria DHS EdData survey 2010, 77 percent could not read at all (NPC and RTI International, 2011). Hence this initiative has the potential of having an enormous and much-needed impact across the state.
Six primary schools--Aliyu Mustapha Model Primary School, TC Demonstration Primary School, Toungo Yola Primary School, Mbamba Primary School, Bako Primary School, and A.A. Namtari Primary School--were part of the pilot team on the AUN campus from August 29-31.
By the end of 2013, testing and training sites will be used to prepare teachers for what will be the biggest push for literacy Adamawa has ever seen. About 1,000 teachers will be taught Jolly Phonics methods, and VP McKee expects the program to be fully implemented in May 2014.
She said that if the pilot project is successful, and the Ministry of Education chooses to adopt the curriculum state-wide, "Jolly Learning" has offered to donate materials to every primary one classroom along with free training.
“We started with the Ministry of Education and garnered support from the UBE: 25 testers and 450 students will be involved. Teachers will be monitored and tested before the MoE approves it for the entire state. I believe this is a huge initiative for AUN, Adamawa State children, and the future of education and training.”