A University of Cumbria educationalist is preparing to travel to Nigeria to speak at a conference which could help shape the country’s literacy policy.
Jan Ashbridge, a principal lecturer at the Institute of Education, will fly to Abuja to explain more about phonics, a system used to teach children to read and write in English. She is due to address a gathering of all the heads of the country’s teacher-training colleges.
The University of Cumbria has a strong link with education in Nigeria with teachers and teacher-training staff from the country visiting Cumbria and north Lancashire in 2016.
“Levels of literacy vary widely across Nigeria,” Jan, who was invited by Lancaster-based Universal Learning Solutions, a not-for-profit consultancy that works with government, educators, donors and experts around the world to promote literacy, said. “The aim is to pass on an understanding of how we have managed to get phonics included as an integral part of the teacher training curriculum in the UK and how as a trainer we have implemented it within our programmes.”
Her whistlestop trip begins on Friday (7 Sept) when she leaves Lancaster after welcoming the first of around 400 PGCE students who are due to begin their studies at the University of Cumbria this month. Flying to Africa over the weekend she is due to speak on Monday 10th before returning to Lancaster to continue here teaching commitments.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to meet the people who are shaping the national curriculum in Nigeria and will hopefully be working to integrate phonics within and embed it in the teacher training curriculum,” Jan said.