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TaRL trains 87,000 pupils to foundational learning skills in Borno

By Hamza Suleiman

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Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa, a non-governmental organisation, says it has trained 87,000 pupils to improved foundational learning skills in Borno.

The training exercise is being implemented under the organisation’s evidence based teaching approach in primary schools.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that TaRL is an educational approach designed to help children develop basic letracy and numeracy skills, to enable them to catch up on the basics in the middle to upper primary school.

The Coordinator of the organisation, Umar Malam-Lawan said that the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) focused at supporting partners working to address the learning gaps in primary schools through the evidence-based approach.

He said the method, pioneered by Pratham in India, worked by dividing the children in middle to upper primary school into groups, based on their current learning levels rather than age or grades, and dedicate time towards improving their basic skills rather than focusing solely on the curriculum.

He said that the six months programme would facilitate regular assessment of pupil performances rather than relying only on end-of-year examinations.
“We realise that some of them are beginners that could not identified later.

“We have those who cannot identified English alphabet from A to Z. There are those who are good with words while others could easily make a sentence in a paragraph.

“We have a two-hour method of teaching in the morning from Mondays to Friday’s. The first hour is dedicated to literacy while the second for numeracy,” he said.
The Coordinator said the pupils were also exposed to local languages such as Hausa and Kanuri to enable them to understand and assimilate their dialects.

Malam-Lawan said the pupils were being grouped according to their learning levels, adding that it was an inclusive method which provided equal accessibility to all.

According to him, the organisation is woking in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board in the area of capacity building and provision of teaching materials.

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He said that under the project agreement, the state government would take over the programme at the expiration of the six-month period, to ensure sustainability.

The UNICEF Education Specialist, Dr Yusuf Ismail said the National Policy on Education has been designed to enhance teaching of litracy and numeracy towards improving pupil communication skills.
He decried the spate of first school leavers, who completed their education without the basic foundational litracy and numeracy skills.

“According to the global learning crises indices, more than 240 million learners aged 10 and above are passing through primary schools without basic foundational literacy and numeracy.

“In sub Saharan Africa, 89 per cent of learners finished primary school without the basic learning requirement. Most of them are struggling on how to read and do simple arithmetic which shows that we are in learning crises.

“The situation in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa is even more acute due to the insurgency,” he said.

He said that the Agency had trained teachers in the state under the programme to enhance teaching and learning process.

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