The Kano Literacy and Maths Accelerator (KaLMA) programme was an educational programme organised through a collaboration by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa and the British Council.
The programme was funded through UK Aid and aimed to improve literacy and numeracy among primary four to primary six pupils, by piloting the Teaching at the Right Level approach in Kano State, Nigeria.
The Kano Literacy and Maths Accelerator (KaLMA) pilot project was launched in October 2019 by the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, Ministry of Education, and Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education in collaboration with the British Council and Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The programmes focus was to build foundational Maths, Hausa, and English literacy skills for over 37,000 Primary 4 to Primary 6 pupils in two full local government areas, Dawakin Tofa and Wudil in Kano State, Nigeria.
Foundational Maths, Hausa and English Literacy skills were provided for 37,000 primary 4 (P4) to primary 6 (P6) pupils in Dawakin Tofa and Wudil LGAs in Kano state. KaLMA also supported the state government in its education-in-emergency response. This included repurposing KaLMA materials, as well as existing British Council, TaRL Africa and other open education resource materials, to suit the delivery of remote learning to the home environment.
KaLMA also provided training and capacity building support for 1,196 teachers, 255 head teachers, 181 schools within two LGAs, 96 student teachers, 50 school support officers and 33 master trainers. The programme concluded on the 9th of December 2021 with a dissemination event that communicated the programmes achievements to all stakeholders.
Below are some testimonials from stakeholders, student recipients of the KaLMA programme and their parents:
“Children were not reading in our schools, but they are doing so now in schools with the coming of KaLMA. Some of the parents I spoke to are impressed with the way they see children from KaLMA implementation schools doing KaLMA activities at home and in the communities.’’
A Headteacher from a KaLMA school
“I see this experience as a big surprise. It is unbelievable! I and my daughter have seen real transformation from the KaLMA radio programmes. If not because of the programme, I wouldn’t have bought a black board.”
These are the words of Umar Ibrahim Danguguwa, father to Hassana, a Primary Five pupil at Danguguwa Central Primary School in Dawakin Tofa local government area. Umar has given a lot of support to his daughter, Hassana, so that she can listen to and understand the English by radio programme. Despite the financial hardships caused by COVID-19, Umar bought a blackboard for
Hassana to use when they listen to the broadcasts. He writes out words from the radio activities on the board so that the children see the connection between the written and spoken words in both Hausa and English. He explains tasks from the programme that can be a bit difficult for children to do on their own, such as forming a sentence, and has created a study timetable for Hassana and her siblings.
Hassana and Umar Ibrahim, a student beneficiary of the KaLMA project and her parent.
“The use of the dual language approach has grown my interest in learning English.”
These are the words of Fatima, a Primary Six pupil of Dawanau Senior Primary School who is very enthusiastic about learning English and who would like to be a newscaster. Fatima says that the English by radio programme has really improved her English. Before its introduction, she found it very difficult to understand the meaning of English words. However, Fatima says that the dual language methodology used in the radio broadcasts, where her mother tongue (Hausa) is used as a bridge to learning English, has been very helpful. She vividly recalls a sentence in both English and Hausa that she has learned from the radio lessons:
“It has two legs and two eyes.’’ – “Tana da kafafuwa guda biyu da idanuwa guda biyu”. Other bilingual forms she now knows include, “Who is this”? – “Wanene wannan”? and “How old is he?” – “Shekarunsa nawa”?
Fatima Idris, a student recipient of the KaLMA project.
“I take time to revise the lessons with Haruna, and as a result he has gradually started to understand them.”
Haruna, from Dawakin Tofa Model Primary School, has some speech and language difficulties. Due to 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 acquire literacy and numeracy skills, so he sets aside time to listen to the KaLMA radio programme together with Haruna and his siblings, making sure that Haruna is included even though he needs more time to understand the lessons. Yahaya adds that
“I take time to revise the lessons with Haruna, and as a result he has gradually started to understand them”. Yahaya has even bought a mobile phone and some writing materials for Haruna to help him with his radio lessons. When Yahaya is away from home, he asks his brother to listen to the programme with Haruna and give him the support he needs. He adds, “Whenever I am not around, I instruct his younger brother to go and listen to the programme with Haruna. Sometimes when the brother is also not around, I instruct Haruna’s elder sister to listen to the programme with the boy and sometimes when I return home and if it’s not too late at night, I call Haruna and we do a recap on the programme lessons together”
Haruna and Yahaya Bako, a student recipient of the KaLMA project and his parent.
Dr Christopher Pycroft, Development Director at the British High Commission in Abuja had this to say about the KaLMA programme:
“I am proud of what the Kano Literacy and Maths Accelerator has achieved. The legacy of its achievements will live long, especially now that the Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has committed to sustaining and embedding accelerated learning in Kano State education plans. The programme’s composition, execution and achievements all stand out as a model of partnership and collaboration. This is in no small part down to the fantastic delivery partners such as the Kano SUBEB, the British Council and TaRL Africa, who were critical to KaLMA’s success. I look forward to the UK supporting many more opportunities like this to make a real tangible positive difference to the lives and futures of girls and boys in Kano and across education in Nigeria.”
For more information on the KaLMA project, visit HERE