Low Cost Private Schools Set to Receive Philanthropic Support to Fight Illiteracy

Low-cost private schools across Pakistan are set to receive billions of Pakistani Rupees worth of free English literacy materials and training following the successful piloting of the Jolly Phonics fast-track literacy scheme.

Findings from a pilot study in 9 low-cost private schools in Lahore, who are managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), have further highlighted the great potential that Jolly Phonics has to transform English literacy levels across Pakistan. Independent research carried out by the Research Society for Synthetic Phonics, highlighted the significant impact that the Jolly Phonics fast-track literacy method has to transform English literacy levels in Pakistan.

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.

Incredible improvements were recorded in the reading and writing abilities of children being taught with Jolly Phonics during the recent pilot project in ITA schools in Lahore. Seenum Zaidi, of the Research Society for Synthetic Phonics, said: “Through this evaluation it can be concluded that the synthetic phonics approach of teaching reading and writing of English, and specifically the Jolly Phonics programme, leads to greater progress in the pupils’ reading and writing ability in English than those pupils not taught using the programme. This evaluation has also shown that the Jolly Phonics programme is effective for all student groups”.

These findings are in line with various other academic studies across the world, where synthetic phonics has been proven to be the most effective method for teaching children how to read and write in English. Jolly Phonics, the leading publisher of synthetic phonics materials, is equally as effective for children learning English as an additional language as it is for children learning English as a first language.

Following the success of the pilot study, the UK-based publishers of Jolly Phonics, Jolly Learning Ltd, have offered to provide 3 days free training in Jolly Phonics, and materials, for all primary 1 and 2 teachers in low-cost private and government schools in Pakistan along with free workbooks for all primary 1 and 2 pupils. This offer, which is believed to be worth several billions of Pakistani Rupees is made through what is known as the “Jolly Futures” programme. Saba Saeed, of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) commented: “We are delighted to be able to take up this significant philanthropic offer and look forward to enabling all of the primary school teachers that we work with to deliver high-quality English literacy tuition via the Jolly Phonics method”.

Speaking from the UK, Gary Foxcroft, CEO 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 excited to be able to expand the scope of our work to Pakistan and very much look forward to helping less privileged children across the country access their right to a quality education”.


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