First ESD Training for Youth Educators in Lagos

FIRST ESD TRANING FOR YOUTH EDUCATORS IN LAGOS

On March 25, 2017, OneAfricanChild Foundation for Creative Learning brought together 15 young education leaders in Lagos to learn about Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The training of trainers was facilitated by Victoria Ibiwoye, based on the knowledge and skills received at the UNESCO Regional Training on ESD held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Victoria started with an introduction of OAC’s theme for the year tagged “Empowering Teachers to teach ESD”. She read out the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which the UN wants to achieve by 2030, stating that OAC would be focusing on Target 4.7 of the goal centered on lifelong learning and to achieve this, OAC is organizing local training for educators to develop new approaches to teaching through ESD.



Victoria explained that OAC commenced its ESD program in 2016 by partnering with JumpStart Academy, an after-school academy for economically disadvantaged children in Ibadan. She shared testimonies of the positive impact of the organisation’s work so far, sharing an example of how the training has inspired two of the scholars to identify a complex problem in their community and take action to address it through advocacy and community service.

In 2017, OAC’s theme is targeted at the teachers because of the strong influence they have on their students. Our long-term goal is to support learners to become innovators. We are investing in ESD to raise sustainable leaders with the mindset, skills and values to create a positive change in Africa and the world. We aim to achieve this through teachers’ training as we believe that innovative teaching has a powerful influence on a child’s development and by extension on socio-economic development.



The answers to the question: what can OAC do to make a difference through ESD inspired the participants to look deeper at the current education system, point out what is not working and share recommendations to address some of the complex challenges to education in Nigeria and how that affects the development of today’s learners. The interactive session started by pointing out challenges such as obsolete curriculum, lack of connection between school lessons and lived realities, traditional facilitation methods, government and failed policies etc.

One of the participants pointed out that students do not appreciate what schooling is and that teachers focus only on teaching, leaving out the psychological, emotional and environmental aspect of learning. Another shared that there was no correlation between school work and lived realities of the students. Many of the participants agreed that the current curriculum is obsolete with teachers lacking new age information. A specific example was given by one of the participants who is a graduate of physics. He shared that in his physics class, the lecturers taught using Fortran 1995 whereas that has been upgraded to Fortran 2013. This goes to show that the education system in Nigeria is not moving at the same pace with which the world is growing.



Another educational challenge was raised by Ms. Maryam Giwa stating that the new educational trends are not affordable for everyone and that the government has to do more to enable equal chances for everyone and not just for the rich who can easily afford quality education for their children. She also said that the world is advancing but our educational system remains stagnant.

Other challenges cited were – education system still revolving around passing exams set by the government at different stages rather than inspiring learners to create solutions to local problems. Most teachers lack the passion for teaching because most of them took the job as a second alternative due to unemployment, and the inability of teachers to embrace different styles of teaching such as the use of visuals, presentation slides etc.



In sharing recommendations, Mr. Kachi Okadike challenged volunteers to make sure that actions are taken to make a change and not just to come up with ideas in training and end it there. Mr. Tobi Bamiyiwa also expressed the fact that collective action needs to be made by everyone which would require volunteers to dedicate their time to the cause to ensure that quality education is evenly distributed. Ms. Mariam also stated that more awareness should be created about ESD via social media and by doing something to get the attention of important stakeholders who have the power to influence the change we are seeking for. She suggested a walk to create awareness on ESD.


In 2017, OAC’s theme is targeted at the teachers because of the strong influence they have on their students. Our long-term goal is to support learners to become innovators. We are investing in ESD to raise sustainable leaders with the mindset, skills and values to create a positive change in Africa and the world.


The facilitator went on to divide the participants into groups of three to brainstorm and come up with solutions that could be incorporated into the activities of OAC in actualizing its plans for ESD.

The suggestions of the three groups are as follows:

GROUP 1

They suggested that seminars be organized quarterly for teachers in different zones and to make teachers embrace ICT. They highlighted problems faced by students such as female molestation, poor results and bad teaching methods. The teachers’ training needs to constantly ask teachers their reasons for teaching. The team also suggested a weekly assessment of teachers, a better relationship between them and their students by understanding that different students have different ways and levels of understanding.

To achieve results, they were of the opinion that a top official at Alausa (Lagos) can be used to connect to public schools and make the process faster.

 

GROUP 2

The second group came up with the theme Student-Teacher Relationshipwhich centers on a better communication among teachers and their students. They suggested a training guide for teachers to start using edutainment materials to get the attention of their students. They also want teachers to be trained in a way that they can groom the students better and teach them to channel their interests to careers. Their recommendation was for OAC to organise seminars for school teachers directed at empowering the teachers to have a better understanding of the concept of ESD.

 



GROUP 3

Their theme was tagged Re-orientationfor secondary school teachers. They opined that one prominent school in a district should be targeted for the whole year to get effective results which can then be extended to others schools in the long run. Media partners also have to be involved to gain awareness and the facilitators must be fresh and open-minded people.

At the end of the training, all teams came up with plans involving training of teachers to embrace new methods of teaching to enable their students to become creative and out of the box thinkers which is also in line with the focus of the organization for the year.



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