THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NEDRC) have launched a new Igbo and Yoruba early grade reading materials.
Developed by the Research and Development Council with support from the USAID Northern Education Initiative 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 resources are expected to expand the availability of quality local language teaching and learning materials for reading in Nigeria, targeting all Igbo and Yoruba speaking primary one to three pupils in the southern regions.
Speaking at the virtual launch ceremony, the USAID Mission Director, Mrs. Anne Patterson, said that teaching children to read in a language they understand equips them with powerful tools for lifelong learning.
According to her, building foundational reading skills will accelerate English language acquisition and other skills in addition to contributing to developing a new generation of leaders equipped to help Nigeria meet the challenges ahead.
The Mission Director, noted, that the curriculum is tailored for a twenty first 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.
According to the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the materials will promote 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.