The Huge Potential of Jolly Phonics

By Jodie Collins on 22nd November 2017

We could be on the cusp of something significant.

In the last 18 months Beyond Ourselves has grown links with Jolly Phonics (a literacy programme based in the UK which has had significant success worldwide). In the past Jolly Phonics has given us some resources to use in the schools we’re working with, but last February the founder, Christopher Jolly, came out to Zambia to explore the potential for how Zambia could benefit from Jolly Phonics.

Long story short, in September 2017 Christopher and myself presented to the Permanent Secretary for General Education, who then commissioned a couple of pilots of Jolly Phonics in 9 schools in Ndola and further 9 in Lusaka. Beyond Ourselves is taking on the role of managing these pilots, making sure they happen and trying to ensure that the pilots are as effective as possible.

Meeting with the Permanent Secretary for Education about the Jolly Phonics Pilot we’re overseeing in Zambia
           Chris Jolly explaining how Jolly Phonics could transform literacy levels across Zambia        
If things proceed on schedule (and that’s a big IF, the road to success is often bumpy and potholed here) we could be in for a significant year as we see an impact in the literacy levels of these schools.

Jolly phonics has already travelled this journey in Nigeria where it is now part of the National Curriculum after proving itself in a number of successful pilots. Therefore it feels as though it is not unreasonable to be excited about the potential that we could be involved with raising literacy levels of the nation.

As I said, we could be on the cusp of something significant.

By Dan Whitcombe
Dan and his wife oversee the work of Beyond Ourselves in Zambia and have been living in Ndola since 2013.

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