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Jolly Phonics praised for improving ECDE learning

More than 4,000 teachers from both public and private ECD centres trained

In Summary

• Jolly Phonics is a fun and child-centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic sounds.  

• Programme rolled out last year, other counties in the process of rolling out the system are Taita Taveta, Tana River, Kwale, Lamu, Nyeri and Meru. 

Jackline Karisa of Kilifi Primary School demonstrates with her PP2 pupils how the Jolly Phonics works during the Jolly Symposium on October 14 in Kilifi
LEARNING THROUGH SOUNDS: Jackline Karisa of Kilifi Primary School demonstrates with her PP2 pupils how the Jolly Phonics works during the Jolly Symposium on October 14 in Kilifi
Image: ELIAS YAA

Coast counties are embracing the Jolly Phonics mode of teaching to enhance reading and comprehension in Early Childhood Development Education.

The mode which was adopted from Europe was piloted in Kilifi county and has already led to a tremendous improvement to comprehension in PP1 and PP2 learners.

Speaking in his office on Monday, Education and ICT executive Gabriel Katana said more than 4,000 teachers from both public and private ECD centres have been trained on the system. 

Jolly Phonics is a fun and child-centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic sounds. 

“We started using the Jolly Phonics last year as a pilot programme because most pupils in Standard 8 could not read and comprehend Standard 2 work. This was the main reason we have not been doing very well in national exams because the students cannot understand the questions,” Katana said.  

Last year, the programme was rolled out in 30 public ECD centres as a pilot project.

“We started by training 1,500 teachers in public schools and we received so many requests from private schools to train their teachers. We have about 91,000 pupils in PP1 and PP2 who can read, speak and comprehend both English and Kiswahili. English has 42 sounds while Kiswahili has 31 sounds,” he said. 

With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers.

Counties that are also in the process of rolling out the system are Taita Taveta, Tana River, Kwale, Lamu, Nyeri and Meru.

The programme is a partnership between the UK non-profit Universal Learning Solutions, Jolly Learning Ltd and the county governments. 

 

Universal Learning Solutions East Africa region coordinator Sian Summers Issa said the system is fast gaining momentum and more counties are embracing it.

“In the initial stages, we trained 46 teachers in 11 teaching centres who now acted as trainers. It is through these trainers that we are now talking of about 4,000 teachers who can teach using the Jolly Phonics," Issa said.

"Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing which are learning the letter sounds, learning letter formation, blending, identifying the sounds in words (segmenting) and tricky words."

ULS chief executive director Gary Fox Croft said apart from the UK, the system has highly been adopted in Nigeria, Ghana and West African countries

Edited by R.Wamochie