Social Entrepreneurs Set to Empower Teachers in Lagos

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Rebecca Ejifoma

A group of social entrepreneurs, under the auspices of Learn As I Teach (LAIT), have cemented a union to empower teachers across Nigeria with solutions for themselves and pupils across Lagos and Nigeria.

The social entrepreneurs popularly called table shakers include CEO Kids’ Courts School and Founder of LAIT, Dr. Abimbola Ogundere; CEO Teach for Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle; Executive Director, Arc-Lights Foundation, Abisola Obasnaya; Executive Director, Sustainable Education and Enterprise Development (SEED), Lanre Oniyitan.

The convener and founder of LAIT, Ogundere said, “Last January, we thought to ourselves of spreading out the teacher empowerment beyond our own school. We thought of what we could do for the totality of the teachers in Nigeria”.

Part of the puzzle LAIT listed to solve were: how to begin to empower them, to bring teachers together monthly to discuss issues, train themselves and discuss the fundamental issues disturbing the education sector in Nigeria then proffer panacea.

She said: “We are all pushing education forward as a country. Having identified the problems, we decided to look for solutions from our various social entrepreneur across advocacies, curriculum and access.

“Teachers need to be proud to be teachers in Nigeria. It is fundamental. People do not regard teachers. Teachers are even ashamed to admit that they are teachers.

“Take ownership of that profession and be proud to be a teacher because that affects our mindset. If you are not proud of what you do, you cannot do it well.”

For the convener, teachers needed to be committed to professional development. “As teachers, we need to begin to come together, network with other teachers and collaborate so we can be a voice to reckon with and can make change happen”.

Describing the conference as looking in and giving back, Oniyitan said the change they were bringing on board was recognising the social problems and reaching a social change.
“We have decided to reach out to the teachers. They need to be proud of their profession because teachers are not,” she said.

The programme, however, aims to look into the education sector and give back to the country through conferences and utilising social media platform to reach out to others across the country.