By Gabriel Chy Alonta & Chidex Onyemah
Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) in collaboration with the Jolly Phonics International, a non-governmental organisation, has conducted quiz competition for primary school pupils in the state featuring 12 primary schools adjudged best in the three senatorial districts.
The competition which started among selected primary schools at various local government areas of the state and the senatorial districts, climaxed with the grand finale at the ASUBEB hall Awka, the Anambra state capital.
Orient Daily gathered that the Jolly Phonics project is a method used to deliver lessons to primary 1 and 2 pupils across the state, on sounds and spelling skills. It is also a multi-sensory method of teaching literacy through phonics, aimed at inculcating good writing and reading as well as pronouncing skills among pupils.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of ASUBEB, Mr. Patrick Ugbeja, assured that the state government was committed to supporting the jolly phonics project in the state, noting that the board would attach importance to the new method of teaching.
Ugbejadisclosed that the state government had invested millions annually on the project, and promised that it would continue to support the project in terms of provision of materials to primary schools across the state.
The chairman decried lack of usage of Jolly Phonics materials deployed to schools by teachers and head teachers, who, he alleged, only use such materials during a competition of this magnitude, or when they are to be supervised.
He, however, promised to monitor the activities of teachers on the usage of the Jolly Phonics materials sent to schools. He also commended teachers and encouraged pupils to work hard in their studies.
In a remark, Lady Stella Ezepue, the Director of Academics, ASUBEB ,while commending the Jolly Phonics teachers present at the event, noted that “Jolly Phonics” is a new way of bringing learning down for the children. The learning process makes the children more retentive”.
Ezepue, who expressed delight at the improvement among school pupils, said it showed that the investment by the state government was yielding positive results. She promised to make sure that the supervisory and monitoring team of the ASUBEB ensures the usage of the materials sent to the various schools.
The Training Officer, ASUBEB, Dr. Chinwe Nwando, in a remark, revealed that Jolly Phonics project was aimed at improving the general usage of English language from sound to writing words. She said the event was to learn new ideas to take the state to the next level.
Earlier, Engr. Innocent Iheanyichukwu Nwosu, the Senior Project Manager, South East Jolly Phonics, said that the teaching method was the best at primary school level.
According to him, it has been noticed that many pupils who pass through primary and secondary school level, cannot read and write, but through this Jolly Phonics method which engages the five sense organs, learning is made easier and fun-filled.
Nwosu argued that schools that use the Jolly Phonics methods out-perform other schools in English language, stressing that the method was an easy way to bridge the gap between private schools and government owned schools. The winner of the quiz competition, Master Chukwuebuka Andrews, who represented All Saints Primary School, Onitsha, thanked the state government for providing the new method used to teach them how to read and write. He also appreciated the effort of his teacher, Mrs. Susan Akwobi, who,he said, made him reach the final stage.
Presentations and spelling recitations from pupils and beneficiaries of the project formed the high points of the event.