In continuation of efforts to ensure that every pupil becomes a proficient reader and successful in all their academic subjects, the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) has trained 11,112 teachers and headteachers for the EKOEXCEL Reading Champion initiative.
The Reading Champions campaign aims to improve literacy, the essential life skill that helps close learning gaps and gives pupils access to the world. It equips every school leader, teacher and support staff with the technical knowledge and advocacy skills critical to helping Lagos State public primary school pupils become proficient readers.
The Reading Champions training happened between May 23 and October 31 2022, after daily school hours, participants, including teachers and school leaders, were trained on the pillars and stages of literacy, assessing fluency, and about advocating for literacy.
The participants were tested on the training modules at the end of the training. Those who passed were certified and received a Reading Champion certificate to show that they had completed the course and become reading experts and advocates.
The 11,112 teachers and headteachers who participated in the modules and passed the assessments receive their certificates of completion at various local government areas across the State.
The Chairman, Education Secretaries, Hon. Amosu Akeem, chaired the main event for the recognition and distribution of the certificates to teachers at the Ikeja LGEA which took place on June 1st 2023.
During his remarks, Amosu expressed his appreciation to SUBEB and the EKOEXCEL programme for introducing the commendable initiative. “The EKOEXCEL program recognizes and values the dedication and hard work of teachers, acknowledging their significant role in shaping the education and future of our children. This initiative serves as a motivation for teachers, assuring them that their efforts are recognized and appreciated” he said. Furthermore, The Education Secretary emphasized the importance of continued efforts in providing quality education to our children.
He urged the EKOEXCEL team to continue offering guidance and support to teachers, as well as providing necessary corrections and improvements to enhance their teaching methods. He also stated that the EKOEXCEL recognition will be a significant factor in determining teachers’ eligibility for merit awards in all the Local Government Education Authorities.
Commenting on the initiative’s objectives, EKOEXCEL technical support Academic Director, Nduka Akujobi, a Reading Champion Instructor, explained that reading proficiency lays the foundation for success in all other academic subjects.
He said, “not achieving proficiency in reading can have devastating effects on a child’s schooling and prospects in life.
Therefore, every pupil in Lagos State must become a proficient reader. EKOEXCEL has already made rapid progress on this journey. Still, we are persistent because becoming a proficient reader/writer is the fastest and most effective way for pupils to get back on track. We are happy to note that EKOEXCEL pupils improve their reading skills three times faster than their peers in other schools.”
Akujobi added, “across Nigeria, there is a gap between where pupils should be performing and where pupils are actually performing. School disruptions related to COVID-19 have caused further learning losses for pupils. However, EKOEXCEL has addressed that and is still tackling it with our unique Reading Champions initiative.”
In 2019, the EKOEXCEL Programme was launched by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to transform ECCDE and Primary education in all Lagos State government schools, bringing 21st Century education that is child-centred and enabled by modern practices and technology.
Through EKOEXCEL, in 4 years, the Lagos State Government has developed a globally recognised, award winning public education intervention, designed to equip and support public school teachers with technology driven tools and methodology, to aid increased learning gains in classrooms.
The methodology underpinning the EKOEXCEL programme has been independently appraised by Nobel Prize winning economist, Prof. Michael Kremer. His findings show that its methodology delivers among the largest in the international education literature and also detailed how pupils tutored with EKOEXCEL’s methodology gain almost an additional year of learning (0.89), learning in two years what their peers in traditional schools learn in nearly three.
EKOEXCEL has recorded substantial improvement in Literacy and Numeracy as reported in the programs’ 2021 endline fluency and numeracy report, showing dramatic gains in pupil learning including: 3x rate of literacy learning compared to non-EKOEXCEL pupils and 2x rate of Learning in Numeracy, compared to non-EKOEXCEL pupils, EKOEXCEL has tripled the % rate of proficient readers by primary 4.