Andrienne Barnes, a Literacy and Pedagogy specialist from Florida State University, in the US has claimed that 72% of children at early grade primary school level in northern Nigeria public schools cannot read a single word while only 1.2% of them are able to read and answer comprehension questions.
Barnes, a part of a USAID supported survey on early grade reading in some states in the Northern part of the country said this at NCRRD’s National conference on children’s books and the teaching of early grade reading in Nigeria.
The challenge, according to Barnes, is as a result of the shortfall in reading proficiency among the early grade pupils in the country to paucity of high-quality teaching and learning materials with well trained and motivated teachers in public schools.
However, Barnes noted the ongoing positive education reforms across Nigeria, but the change is too slow and “typically entails two steps forward and one, sometimes two steps backwards.
The expert urged stakeholders to have a deliberate and objective evaluation of the system and transformation focused on long-term educational outcomes which would surely lead to the revival of the reading culture and improvement on early grade reading among its teeming population.
Source: SBM Intelligence