Kano Literacy and Maths Accelerator (KALMA) Program Testimonial

Basic math, Hausa and English skills were provided to 37,000 students from Primary 4 (P4) to Primary 6 (P6) in Dawakin Tofa and Wudil LGAs in Kano State. KaLMA has also supported the state government in its response to education in emergencies. This included repurposing KaLMA materials, along with existing British Council, TaRL Africa and other open educational resources, to suit the delivery of distance learning in the home environment.

KaLMA also provided training and capacity building support to 1,196 teachers, 255 headteachers, 181 schools within two LGAs, 96 student teachers, 50 school support workers and 33 master trainers. The program ended on the 9and of December 2021 with a dissemination event that communicated the achievements of the programs to all stakeholders.

Here are some testimonials from speakers, student beneficiaries of the KaLMA program and their parents:

Children did not read in our schools, but they now do in schools with the arrival of KaLMA. Some of the parents I spoke to are impressed with how they see children from KaLMA implementation schools doing KaLMA activities at home and in communities.”

A KaLMA school principal

“I see this experience as a big surprise. It’s incredible! My daughter and I have seen a real transformation of KaLMA radio programs. If it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t have bought a chalkboard.

These are the words of Umar Ibrahim Danguguwa, father of Hassana, a fifth grade student at Danguguwa Central Primary School in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area. Umar has been very supportive of his daughter, Hassana, so that she can listen and understand English through a radio show. Despite the financial hardship caused by COVID-19, Umar bought a blackboard for Hassana to use when they listen to the broadcasts. He writes the words from the radio activities on the board so that the children see the connection between the written and spoken words in Hausa and English. He explains program tasks that can be a bit difficult for children to do on their own, such as forming a sentence, and has created a study schedule for Hassana and her siblings.

Hassana and Umar Ibrahim, a student beneficiary of the KaLMA project and her relative.

“Using the bilingual approach has increased my interest in learning English.”

These are the words of Fatima, a sixth grade student from Dawanau Primary School who is very enthusiastic about learning English and would like to become a news presenter. Fatima says the English radio program has really improved her English. Prior to her introduction, she had great difficulty understanding the meaning of English words. However, Fatima says the double talk methodology used in the radio shows, where her mother tongue (Hausa) is used as a gateway to learning English, has been very helpful. She vividly remembers a sentence in English and Hausa that she learned during radio lessons: “He has two legs and two eyes. – “Tana da kafafuwa guda biyu da idanuwa guda biyu”. Other bilingual forms she knows now include “Who is this?” – “Wanene wannan”? and “How old is he?” – “Shekarunsa nawa”?

Fatima Idris, student recipient of the KaLMA project.

“I take the time to review the lessons with Haruna, and suddenly he gradually started to understand them.”

Haruna, from Dawakin Tofa Model Primary School, has speech and language difficulties. Because of these challenges, he started school late, at the age of eight. Haruna’s father, Yahaya Bako, says it hasn’t been easy for him to learn literacy and numeracy skills, so he sets aside time to listen to the KaLMA radio show with Haruna and his brothers and sisters, making sure Haruna is included even though he needs more time to understand the lessons. Yahaya adds that “I take the time to review the lessons with Haruna, and suddenly he gradually started to understand them”. Yahaya even bought a cell phone and writing materials for Haruna to help with her radio lessons. When Yahaya is away from home, he asks his brother to listen to the show with Haruna and give him the support he needs. He adds, “Whenever I am away, I ask his younger brother to go listen to the program with Haruna. Sometimes when the brother is not there either, I ask Haruna’s older sister to listen to the program with the boy and sometimes when I come home and if it is not too late on evening, I call Haruna and we recap the lessons of the program together”

Haruna and Yahaya Bako, a student beneficiary of the KaLMA project and his relative.

Dr Christopher Pycroft, Director of Development at the British High Commission in Abuja, said this about the KaLMA programme: “I am proud of what the Kano Literacy and Mathematics Accelerator has achieved. The legacy of its achievements will live on for a long time, especially now that the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB ) is committed to supporting and integrating accelerated learning into Kano State’s education plans.The composition, execution and achievements of the program all stand out as a model of partnership and collaboration. This is in large part due to the fantastic delivery partners such as Kano SUBEB, the British Council and TaRL Africa who have been instrumental in the success of KaLMA I look forward to the UK supporting many more opportunities like this to make a real tangible positive difference in the lives and futures of girls and boys in Kano and across education in Nigeria.

For more information on the KaLMA project: https://www.britishcouncil.org.ng/kalma

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