Ugo Aliogo

The Foundation for Montessori Education in Nigeria (FMEN) has been launched as part of efforts to make an impact in Montessori education in Nigeria using the Maria Montessori’s philosophy.

Speaking during the launch and inaugural annual general meeting in Lagos, the Chairperson, FMEN, Bimpe Pogoson said the foundation was registered as a non-governmental organisation in January 2018 and in April, it was signed as the affiliate society of the Association of Montessori Internationale (AMI), the body established by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1929.

She said the foundation would be having its first training for Montessori assistants in July, adding that there is the AID to Life programme, which it is also organising to assist parents with children under three years old to know how they can support the children’s development, movement, communication, independence and self-discipline.

Pogoson expressed delight about the launch, saying that it was an opportunity to meet and network with people from orphanages and charity organisations that have a goal to support children. She said the foundation is looking at visiting the grassroots and starting from there.

“We are looking for ways we can support teachers not just in private schools, but public schools. There are those that are already doing this work such as the Director General Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo and others.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, FMEN, Noyenum Emafo said from latest available data, it was estimated that there are approximately 81 million children in the country between the ages of 0-14 years from good families and are getting a good education either from private schools or from public schools.

She added that the foundation aims to contribute and support the work the government is already doing with the 81 million children.

“Our mission is to promote integration, enlightenment and development using the Montessori framework for the benefit of the society and the child. Our vision is to be recognised as an inclusive entity and a point of dispersal for Montessori values in Nigeria with the aim of supporting the child in finding his place in society as the builder of tomorrow in Nigeria and the world.

“We all know that education is the key to the elimination of physical and mental poverty. Indeed, the growth of any society is determined by the quality of its educational institutions. We plan to hold free talks and seminars to educate parents at all levels of the society on how to support their children’s development using the Montessori method with materials around homes that can teach the children basic skills.

“We will be targeting the underserved to ensure that mothers that are unable to provide access to government or private schools can begin to educate their children at home. We also aim to make the Montessori method of education available to the grassroots. To this end, we are in the process of identifying opportunities for supporting the work Lagos State is undertaking to improve public schools.”