To mark the launch of the national Jolly Phonics rollout in February 2022, the Ministry of Education provided a unique 5-day training covering the Jolly Phonics, Jolly Grammar 1 and 2 and the Jolly Monitor programmes. This was for all Senior Education officials in the Junior Primary Phase, country-wide. Executive Director at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp officially launched the Jolly Phonics rollout with a moving and motivational speech. There was excellent national and regional press coverage.
From the 14th February to the 10th March 2022 the Jolly Futures training team delivered 56 batches of training for 2584 grade 1 teachers. Extensive donations from Jolly Learning Ltd enabled each cohort of teachers to receive 2.5 days of Jolly Phonics training as well as teacher and classroom materials and pupil books for 90,000 grade 1 learners. There was an impressive 97% attendance rate across the country. In an evaluation form a teacher wrote “We feel privileged to get this training and materials". Regional Education Officials showed dedication and commitment in the preparation and the delivery of trainings in each of the 14 regions.
The Jolly Phonics training was delivered by a diverse team of experienced Official Trainers from Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and three new Namibian Jolly Futures trainers. The team were warmly welcomed to Namibia and were delighted to see how quickly teachers and education officials embraced and understood Jolly Phonics. An official from Otjozondjupa region reported “The training was relevant and to a high standard. It was one of the best trainings I have ever attended”. A grade one teacher commented that “This is the most productive workshop I have been to in my 10 years of teaching. This was life changing. Thank you for the empowerment”
The whole country is now implementing Jolly Phonics. Senior Education Officials were trained to use the revolutionary smart phone App, the Jolly Monitor. It is a technology system designed to collect & analyse huge amounts of information on Jolly Phonics projects gathered from the field, as well as support monitors with observing and mentoring teachers in Jolly Phonics. Erongo region recently reported "When teachers presented their mini-lessons during training, we could see that they enjoyed and appreciate the input of Jolly Phonics. Reading/phonics was really a challenge for most of the teachers because they did not know how to teach it but during school visits I can observe that they are eager to present phonics lessons now."
There has been enthusiasm and cooperation at every level across the country, paving the way for an incredible impact on the literacy levels of the Namibian child. Namibia is a wonderful role model for other countries who are considering taking up the generous Jolly Futures offer to raise literacy levels with Jolly Phonics.
A special thanks to Jolly Learning Ltd, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and all the jolly teachers.