FMEN Organises Outreach on Early Child Devt

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Ugo Aliogo

The Foundation for Montessori Education in Nigeria (FMEN) has organised its second annual general meeting as part of efforts to create awareness of its activities in the last one year.

Speaking at the event, the Chairperson, FMEN, Bimpe Pogoson said the foundation has recorded a few successes in 2018, adding that it is basing its activities on three pillars of Montessori, which are to promote legacy, capacity which is getting people to understand more about Montessori and also drive outreach.

According to her, with regards to legacy, the foundation has signed an agreement with the company that publishes Montessori’s books, adding that FMEN is able to bring in her books at a discounted price to members and the public.

Pogoson explained that FMEN has a library that would be accessible not only to the students of the training centre, but also the public or Montessori teachers that want to quickly read up something about Montessori.

“Therefore you can either buy or borrow a book. With regards to capacity which involves building teaching knowledge and professional development, July 2018, we held the first assistance training course in Lagos and it was fully subscribed which gave us the confidence to start a proper diploma course. We want the society to enjoy the real Montessori education and we want it to be effective as we work with the children.

“Within ourselves too, we want to share the knowledge we have about Montessori with staff of other schools and the public which is why we organise seminars. We held a seminar in December in order to explain what we do as practitioners of Montessori to parents. We use specialised equipment in our classes, they are not the normal equipment you find in our classrooms, and the way we access is different.”

She added: “In a classroom you could have children with mix age range three to six and some parents will feel ‘what is my three-year-old doing with a six-year-old and how are they learning’. So through that seminar, we explained to teachers how the children learn and possibly how parents can take it home as well.”

In another development, FMEN has partnered the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) through its aid to life programme aimed at educating parents to support natural development of their child from birth.

In her remarks, the Coordinator, Aid to Life Outreach Programme, FMEN, Yinka Awobo-Pearse said early childhood development in areas of movement, communication, independence and self-discipline go a long way to sharpen the entire future of children.

The aid to life programme aims to educate parents on how to support the natural development of their children from birth to three years at home in four areas of development; movement, communication, independence and self-discipline.

She said the initiative primarily aimed at supporting parents of children between ages zero to two, who do not have access to quality child care or cannot afford child care to learn how to support their child’s development at home, had in attendance about 120 parents in the nine hours free lectures.

The training featured practical sessions demonstrated to show Montessori philosophy on how to approach a child, involving wards in everyday activities around the home, as natural practice helps in developing necessary skills.

According to Awobo-Pearse, “when parents fully implement these ideas at home, the children attain the right of development in these areas by the start of nursery one at age three. These children assimilate easily into school life and perform well in school.

“They go on to achieve academic success at the end of the nursery phase, coming out with higher outcomes than your average pupil. This in turn will raise learning outcomes at the end of nursery education will translate to higher outcomes in all other stages of education in Nigeria.”