UBEC emphasises mathematics, science training for teachers
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has emphasised the need to strengthen mathematics and science education (SMASE), and phonics training for teachers nationwide.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, who made the remark at a workshop to build teachers’ capacity in mathematics and science, explained that SMASE and Jolly Phonics have been implemented over 10 years in the country’s Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme.
Represented by Prof. Bala Zakari from the commission, Bobboyi noted that SMASE has been a major programme that has helped in strengthening the study of science and mathematics in basic education.
He said the commission has continuously injected the Teachers Professional Development (TPD) fund into the training of teachers to build their capacity in SMASE.
“The two programmes have been implemented over 10 years in the UBE programmes. I make bold to say that SMASE has been a major programme that has helped in strengthening the study of science and mathematics in the UBE. In any developed world or nation aspiring for technological development, the priority given to the study of science and mathematics is always high. Nigeria is not left out in this aspiration for technological and scientific advancement.
“Having adopted SMASE after its introduction by JICA in 2006 and piloted in three states of Kaduna, Plateau and Niger, it has also given priority attention to the teaching of science and mathematics with the methodology prescribed in the SMASE programme.
“After the handing over of the programme, UBEC took it upon itself to continuously inject the TPD fund into training of teachers to build their capacity in SMASE. This is because of the pivotal roles teachers play in the delivery of the programme,” he noted.
The UBEC boss said the jolly phonics programme has been adopted as the flagship programme of the commission on early-grade reading.
He stated that it is important to underscore the relevance of reading in the life of a learner, noting that a learner who is able to read early in life is not likely to drop out and certainly is assured of success as the foundation for further learning and self-development has been built.
“It is in view of this fact that the commission adopted the Jolly Phonics programme and its methodology in building the capacity of teachers in basic education to enable them effectively teach reading in schools,” he added.
Director of Teachers Development in the commission, Aleshin Olumayowa said SMASE is used to train teachers on how to improvise and help learners on science and mathematics.
Olumayowa added that it also helps teachers to teach the subjects effectively and also enhances assimilation by learners.
“If the teacher does not know how to deliver and deliver properly, a learner will not learn and learning outcomes will not be there. So, if you build the capacity of the teacher to effectively deliver whatever subject is being handled, learners will learn in simple and effective ways.