Over one million young children will receive books to help improve reading skills in Northeast Nigeria. The American University of Nigeria (AUN) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing a three-year Strengthening Education project in Northeastern Nigerian States (SENSE).
The SENSE project distributed books (readers) to children in primary 1 to 3. The flag-off ceremony held Thursday 20th May 2021. This builds on the work which began in 2016 when AUN developed books (readers) in the Hausa language which are still used across Nigeria, Niger Republic, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire.
The SENSE project aligned with the Adamawa State Education priorities and plans is working closely with the World Bank-funded Basic Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), the State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB), and the Ministry of Education to ensure as many school children receive literacy kits.
SENSE Chief of Party, Audu Liman gave the welcome address. “One million copies of these readers(books) have been distributed to children across Adamawa and Gombe States. With 250 copies of the reader per school, the intention is to provide one copy of the reader to each child.” He said.
“The sense project is committed to improving reading outcomes of 200,000 early grade learners (P1-P2) in Adamawa and Gombe States. The project has distributed teaching and learning materials to over 450,000 teachers and learners in both states to ensure that all opportunities to improve the reading outcomes of the early grade learners are explored and over 1 million decodable and leveled readers were distributed to schools in both states. Said School Improvement Specialist, Elizabeth Raymond.
The books are simple, direct, and easy to read. Children read them with so much excitement. Each copy of the reader comprises about 35 varieties of tests, decodable, leveled, and engaging stories which learners find easy to read.
Adamawa State Commissioner for Education, Wilbina Jackson unveiled the supplementary materials for distribution. She then handed over the supplementary materials to eleven Focal Education Secretaries in Adamawa state: Yola North, Fufore, Michika, Mubi South, Hong, Song, Guyuk, Shelleng, Numan, Toungo, and Ganye. Supplementary materials were also given to school Headmistresses and primary 1, 2 , and 3 teachers.
The highlight of the event was the children’s reading presentation coordinated by a school teacher, Mrs. Catherine. She guided the children in reading from the supplementary materials and they read with such excitement.
SENSE Team Leader, Stephen Medugu thanked all who came for the program, especially the AUN Founder, His excellency Atiku Abubakar, the USAID for funding the project, the commissioner for education for her outstanding cooperation, and the schools and organizations for accepting the books and intervention.
Reported by Nancy Gagare