The University of Sussex, United Kingdom, in partnership with the TeachForNigeria, a non-governmental organisation, recently held a-day training for 132 Nigerian teachers, aimed at enhancing teaching and learning.
Speaking at the event held at the City Hall, Lagos, the university’s Head of Education, Dr. Simon James Thompson, who was the leading resource person, said the programme was designed to share knowledge on different techniques the teachers can apply while in the classrooms without necessarily getting stuck to the traditional way of teaching.
“We tried to examine how teachers can meet individual needs of the pupils. The impact of this on the pupils is for them to realise that their needs are being met and they are making progress. If the teaching progress is adapted, it is likely that more students are going to make progress.”
He expressed optimism about the likely positive impact of the training session, saying that techniques taught were not peculiar to any country, but universal training approach that cuts across.
The Chief Executive Officer, TeachForNigeria, Folawe Omikunle explained that the partnership was geared towards giving every Nigerian child the deserved quality education regardless of where they come from.
“To achieve the goal of equality of quality education for all children of school age, we instituted a fellowship programme that is also a leadership development programme, and it is about young Nigerians going into poor communities or less advantages areas to teach as teachers for two years. The whole idea is to expose them to realities within these schools, the realties within the communities within where they live and see, so that they will be the leaders to spearhead change and transform the education sector.
“One of the big components of that programme is training and this is where the partnership between us and the University of Sussex comes in. We got introduced to the university saying they are interested in training our fellows. When the offer came, we felt it should not be for our fellows who are just 45 in all. University of Sussex and TeachForNigeria thus decided to open the training to as many teachers as possible. So we are having as participants here today, teachers from the low-cost private schools, and teachers from the Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN). In all, we have 132 in attendance.”
The University of Sussex Director, International Recruitment and Development, Professor Richard Follet said the idea behind the training is aimed at developing human capacities in the area of education.
“I have been working in Nigeria in the last three years and the university has within the period shown tremendous interest in developing human capacities in the area of education. This is just one of such gestures. We have hosted a similar training programme in Abuja not too long ago and we hope this will go a long way in building a respectable and sustainable partnership.”
The institution’s Senior International Officer (Africa and Middle East) Tosin Adebisi, said the workshop was borne out of the passion for educational development and mission to help expedite the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across sub-Saharan Africa.
“Capacity building and continuing professional development are central to our work at Sussex. We hope that this free workshop will be the first of many more trainings to widen participation and we are delighted to welcome the teachers to this session having had a very successful outing in our first training session in Abuja.”
One of the participants, Olasumbo Adigun, a primary school teacher from Abeokuta, Ogun State, said she learnt a lot from the training session as it exposed her to new techniques of teaching, making her classes interactive, breaking down the barriers between pupils and teachers and encouraging a relationship that will see the brilliant pupils assist the average ones.