Groups Call for Greater Use of Jolly Phonics to Solve the Challenge of Illiteracy

Groups Call for Greater Use of Jolly Phonics to Solve the Challenge of Illiteracy

Following a successful pilot project in primary schools in Karachi and Lahore, a group of Pakistan and UK based organisations have called upon the government and private sector to work together to enable children to access their right to literacy through the Jolly Phonics method.

Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers who witness rapid results. It is used in the majority of schools in the UK and a large amount of the private schools across Asia.

The pilot projects in Karachi and Lahore were carried out to access how effective Jolly Phonics is in Pakistan. It was implemented in partnership between the AFAAQ Foundation, Punjab Education Foundation, ITACEC, Phonics Club and Universal Learning Solutions UK, with evaluation of the impact of the project being carried out by the Research Society for Synthetic Phonics.

Incredible improvements were recorded in the reading and writing abilities of children after only 6-8 months being taught with Jolly Phonics. On average children taught with the method could read 18 months above their chronological age in contrast to the children who were not taught with the method, who only progressed by 4 months. These findings are in line with various other academic studies across the world, where phonics has been proven to be the most effective method for teaching children how to read and write in English. Jolly Phonics is equally as effective for children learning English as an additional language as it is for children learning English as a first language.

Speaking following the release of the pilot project findings, Fatima Tuz Zahra, founder of Phonics Club, said: “We are delighted that these findings further highlight the massive potential that Jolly Phonics has to raise English literacy levels in Pakistan and call upon all stakeholders to join hands and enable our children to access this method in their schools”.

Illiteracy remains a great challenge in Pakistan, where Literacy rates are some of the lowest in the world at 55%. Levels of concern about this problem remain high. Such is the potential of Jolly Phonics to help address this that the UK Publisher of Jolly Phonics, Jolly learning Ltd, has made a generous philanthropic offer of free training and resources to government schools and low-cost private chains in Pakistan as part of their contribution to solve this challenge. This generous donation is made through what is known as the “Jolly Futures” programme.

Speaking from the UK, Gary Foxcroft, Chairman of Universal Learning Solutions, a not-for-profit organisation that works with governments and educators around the world to implement the Jolly Futures programme, stated: “We are grateful to all the teachers and project partners for all of the hard work and commitment they have put into this pilot project. The results speak for themselves and further highlight the huge potential that Jolly Phonics has to transform literacy levels in Pakistan. We look forward to working with the government and private sector to help Pakistan’s children access their right to read and write through the Jolly Futures programme”.


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