Improving Reading Skills

The goal of the Northern Education Initiative Plus’ reading program is to strengthen systems at the federal, state, and local government levels to improve reading outcomes in the primary grades.

To address the poor reading abilities of primary pupils, the Initiative collaborates with state and federal partners to implement a systemic and holistic reform in the teaching of reading in Hausa and the transition to English in first to third primary grades.

Working with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council , the National Commission for Colleges of Education, state education Ministries, Departments and Agencies and international experts in early grade reading, the Initiative has developed a model of teaching reading in Hausa and the transition to English in the primary schools that is based on global best practices.

Promoting community engagement

The project also collaborates with the National Commission for Colleges of Education to develop and implement reading instruction curriculum for pre-service teacher education to prepare primary school teachers to teach reading in the early grades.

The project intensifies parental and community engagement through local Non-Governmental Organizations with a view to promoting the culture of reading using community mobilization techniques and media campaigns. Community dialogue about the importance of reading will increase as the project explores and uses various ICT platforms such as voice SMS, Interactive Voice Response, Closed User Groups and social media to deploy messages that improve social behavior towards education.

Over the life of the project, it is expected that children’s reading skills will improve, allowing more children to be successful in school and stay longer. It is also expected that teachers’ abilities, attitudes and motivation will pave way towards improved quality of teaching and increased demand from parents to send their children to school.

Improved learning outcomes

The Initiative envisions that over the course of the project, state and federal actors place greater emphasis and commit increasing resources to support early grade reading. Qualified, skilled, motivated and appreciated teachers will be teaching at the primary grades and have a major impact on the education system.

State systems will support the provision of quality teaching and learning materials to schools, employ more female teachers in the primary grades, and enhance teachers’ professional growth throughout their careers. State and federal officials will also plan for increased enrollment and retention in the primary grades and greater numbers of pupils will transition to upper primary level.