The Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has organised a workshop to build teachers capacity on Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education, SMASE, and jolly phonics program for teachers across the country.
Speaking at the workshop the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, explained that SMASE and Jolly Phonics have been implemented over ten years in the UBE programme.
Bobboyi, who was represented by Prof. Bala Zakari from the commission, noted that SMASE has been a major programme that has helped in strengthening the study of science and mathematics in basic education.
According to him, the commission has continuously injected the Teachers Professional Development, TPD, fund into the training of teachers in order to build teachers capacity in SMASE.
“The two programmes have been implemented over ten years in the UBE programmes. I make bold to say that SMASE has been a major programme that has helped in strengthening the study of science and mathematics in the UBE.
In any developed world or any nation aspiring for technological development, the priority given to the study of science and mathematics is always high. Nigeria is not left out in this aspiration for technological and science advancement.
“Having adopted SMASE after its introduction by JICA in 2006 and piloted in 3 States of Kaduna, Plateau and Niger has also placed the teaching of science and mathematics with the methodology prescribed in the SMASE programme in a place of priority.
“After the handing over of the programme, UBEC took it upon itself to continously inject the TPD fund into the training of teachers in order to build their capacity in SMASE. This is because of the pivotal roles teachers play in the delivery of the programme,” he noted.
The UBEC boss said that jolly phonics programme has been adopted as the flagship programme of the Commission on early grade reading.
He stated that it is important to underscore the relevance of reading in the life of a learner, noting that a learner who is able to read early in life is not likely to drop out and certainly is assured of success as the foundation for further learning and self- development has been built.
“It is in view of this fact that the Commission adopted the Jolly phonics programme and its methodology in building the capacity of teachers in basic education to enable them effectively teach reading in schools,” he added
Also speaking, the Director of Teachers Development in the commission, Aleshin Olumayowa, said that SMASE is used to train teachers on how to improvise, and how to help learners in learning science and mathematics.
Olumayowa added that it also helps teachers to teach the subjects effectively and also enhance assimilation by learners and jolly phonics is a flagship reading program of the commission.
“If the teacher does not know how to deliver and deliver properly, a learner will not learn and learning outcomes that we’re expecting will not be there. So if you build the capacity of the teacher to effectively deliver and deliver whatever subject that is handling, deliver it so that the learners can learn it in a very simple and effective way.
“And also, jolly phonics is a fun way of teaching phonics and because children are involved they will not forget, because it’s about practice eventually,” he said.