World Read Aloud Day: Anambra pupils thrill audience in Jolly Phonics

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta 

Some select primary school pupils in Anambra State, Wednesday, thrilled their audience in an amazing Jolly Phonics performance to mark the 2020 World Read Aloud Day.

The event, which took place in Awka, the state capital and drew pupils from public primary schools, was organised by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in collaboration with the Universal Learning Solution Initiative, managers of Jolly Phonics Project in the state. 

Orient Daily reports that the Jolly Phonics project is a multi-sensory method of teaching literacy and to deliver lessons to primary school pupils on reading, writing and pronunciation skills.

Speaking during the occasion, the Project Co-ordinator, Anambra Jolly Phonics Project, Mr. Ifeanyi Peter Ezealaji, said through the programme pupils had shown tremendous improvements in literacy skills.

Ezealaji thanked parents, teachers and other stakeholders for ensuring that elementary class pupils in public primary schools are able to read and write confidently using Jolly Phonics programmes. 

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According to him, World Read Aloud Day provided an opportunity for people all around the world to celebrate the joy of reading aloud, and advocate literacy as a fundamental human rights that belongs to everyone. 

“The more children read, the higher their academic achievements before the age of nine. Children need to develop a strong reading skill and an enhanced vocabulary in order to excel in their academic endeavors, and we are continuously striving to close the gap in the reading skills of public primary school pupils in Nigeria”. 

To mark the day, he said Universal Learning Solutions would donate the newly developed decodable story application christened ‘Jolly Readers’ to enable every jolly phonics teacher, parent and education official to improve reading standards. 

The project coordinator further commended the SUBEB and the state government for acknowledging the importance of reading aloud and for their partnership for the new initiative. 

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In a remark, the SUBEB chairman, Mr. Patrick Ugbaja, represented by Mrs. Cecilia Ofuonye, while declaring the event open, urged pupils to take the programme serious in order to become worthy ambassadors of their schools, state and nation at large.

Pupils who thrilled the audience with their audacious performances using ‘Jolly Phonics’ method include Esther Chidubem Ani, from Ibolo Central School, Oraifite and Andrew Bryan Chukwuebuka of All Saints Primary School, Onitsha. Others were Chinecherem Chibueze from Igwebuike Primary School, Abagana and Nkeiruka Ementa from Central School, Isuaniocha, all in Anambra state.

Among dignitaries at the event were Dr. Rose Umezinwa and Mr. Frank Okoh, lecturers, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe.

Presentation of gifts to Jolly Phonics star readers formed the high point of the occasion.

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