In a bid to rescue children from reading and learning difficulties which is one of the major problems most Ghanaian youths are battling with, REMALJ Jolly Clinic, an NGO has moved to organize a 2-day training workshop which witnessed over 20 basic and preschool teachers within the Accra Metropolis vigorously sensitized on Jolly Phonics techniques.
The participants were taken through the 5 basic skills of the Jolly Phonics concept which includes letter formation, blending, identification of sounds in words and tricky words to adequately and efficiently handle children to be able to read and write with ease.
They were also given practical advice and tips on the pace of teaching as well as techniques that can be used on children who are struggling.
In addition, an overview of how literacy has been taught over the years and the research findings.
They were also trained on the preparation of teaching and learning materials that will enable them deliver lessons in their classrooms effectively.
The workshop was aimed at equipping teachers with thorough understanding of the principles of Jolly Phonics and the benefits that it can bring to their schools and classrooms.
According to Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of REMALJ Jolly Reading Clinic, Ms. Emefa Gyamfi, her “motivation is to see Ghanaian children being able to read and write at a very early stage in life that propels him or her for a better academic excellence”.
Jolly Phonics is a concept of teaching reading and writing developed by Chris Jolly of Jolly learning in the UK. It’s a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics thus teaches the letter sounds and blending these sounds to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.
The technique is used to teach kids how to read through the use of sounds, helping them build their reading capabilities early on. Children are also able to improve their English spelling and pronunciation which helps them in developing good communication skills.
Jolly Phonics has proven to be a solution helping children overcome their reading and learning difficulties since its introduction in the country.
Speaking in an interview, Ms. Emefa Gyamfi who also doubles as the Private Schools Coordinator, Prestea Huni-Valley District of the GES lamented about the attitude of most teachers who after completion of such courses in Jolly Phonic never bother to implement it in their various schools so that the children too can benefit.
" Most teachers go in for the training but they failed to implement it, you see, its a whole lot of problem". But if teachers could seek after the knowledge and also implement the knowledge in their classrooms, I think in five years to come, we will have a reading country".
She therefore urged all teachers across the country to "chase the knowledge because some of us has done the second degree before coming to know about Jolly Phonics and we've never regretted".
" It is helping my own family, it is helping my work, it is helping my community and Ghana at large so I believe that they should seek the knowledge and get it implemented in the classrooms". she stressed.
At the end of the program, each participant was handed a certificate of participation. Most them who spoke in an interview with Ghananewsone.com expressed satisfaction in the Jolly Phonics technique describing it as a fun and easy way to teach children.
Ms. Sheila Hammond, a participant who also doubles as the Proprietress of Totyfant Daycare Centre touted concept and described it as “fantastic”.
According to her, it is a better approach for teaching kids because it makes things easy. “I’ve been finding ways that will excite children to learn and I’m glad to have found Jolly Phonics at last. I’ll be introducing it to children in my school to improve their reading and writing skills” she concluded.
Bernice Keegan, a basic school teacher who couldn’t hide her joy said she was once introduced to a form of phonics in the past which uses local languages for teaching and learning but noted she was amazed with the kind of experience felt with the “almighty” Jolly Phonics.
REMALJ Jolly Clinic has been instrumental in helping promote children welfare through offering them sound literacy foundation in education. Since inception two years ago it has covered extensively many towns in the Western Region with series of training for teachers on Jolly Phonics techniques including parts of Volta Region and some areas in Accra and the Eastern Region.
Meanwhile, management of the REMALJ Jolly Clinic has hinted plans to extend the training program to cover other regions in the country so more teachers can benefit.
The next program is expected to be held at Sogakope followed by Ho in the Volta Region then to Koforidua in the Eastern Region before moving into the Prestea Huni Valley District of the Western Region.
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