The International Educational Management Network is an educational advocacy group. As part of the group’s annual Educational Empowerment Series, it is set to empower 2, 000 teachers this year.
The essence of this intervention is to provide skills to equip the Nigerian teachers towards professionalism and efficiency.
Dr. Onyeka Jaibvo-Ojigbo, President and Convener, International Educational
What is the motivation behind IEDUMAN’s activities?
It is our tradition since we started that every year we must do to impact on the educational sector. It is a known fact that there is a crack on the wall of the nation’s educational service. We can’t continue to trade blames. We have left so much to government and have forgotten that our children are the beneficiaries of this crucial sector. As part of our duty, we try to provide a platform where professionals x-ray burning issues in the sector and proffer lasting solutions to the problems
We may don’t have the financial muscle to lift the whole burden but we can, at least, lend our voices and save a portion of the world
What is the major project before the group in 2019?
The theme of our project this year is Educational Empowerment Series. We shall dwell on the Nigerian Teachers’ Skill. The Nigerian Teachers’ Skill project is essentially focused on teachers in the foundation stages of education. We will talk to them about professionalism and offer training and anything we know we have to do to make them do their work better.
We believe that if the foundation is right and well laid, the building will stand stronger. We will work with teachers from Nursery, Primary, and Secondary schools.
What are the key drivers of the Teachers Skill Project?
The society is evolving and our world is changing. There is disruption in the system and technology has changed the way things work on our education. There is a yawning gap in our education that we have been able to identify like the issue of blended learning i.e. integration of digital tools technique, materials into learning in the traditional classroom model.
This is one of the solutions that we are providing as part of the Nigerian teachers skill project.”
Secondly, we are urged to create this intervention to provide skills for them to teach better.
There is a misconception that just educating the minds is enough. This intervention will provide a number of skills to equip the Nigerian teachers.
Also another key driver for the project is low morale among teachers. This intervention will create room for professional recognition. We need to celebrate, especially, those who are doing exceptionally well with Nigeria Teachers Award.
The project also aims to build a well-equipped resource center for teachers to create an innovative mind in them.
In Lagos, we will begin with a manageable number.
How do you hope to get government to key into this project?
For every project we have done in the past, we have always involved officials from the Lagos State Ministry of Education. We are working with Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria..
Incidentally, I run a school and have done this in the last 13 years. I have seen so much, both in government and private schools. And I know what is going on. More often than not, school owners are focused on Return on Investment. There is no crime in doing it as a business but do it right. Sadly enough, government has stopped building new schools. They have left it for the private sector. They don’t even monitor schools again.
What kind of empowerment will you provide?
The content of the empowerment is great because of the kind of collaborators we are working with. The partners are experts in that field. They are the ones to tell us kind of content that are designed for the teachers. It will go through the necessary approval. The government will look into it and the management of IEDUMAN will approve it and deploy it.
Who funds the project?
We have done so many things on our own. We have done this for two years and people now believe in us. We are involving people of like minds.
What criteria will be used to select teachers?
We will reach out to the government, association and some of the schools. Registration is basically, online and teachers will register on the event site. Once you are registered, and your registration is confirmed, you are in. With the website, any teacher can register, even, outside Lagos. We are planning for 2000 teachers. It could be more, at the end of the day.
What other programmes are lined up?
Traditionally, we have Eduskill fair. It is part of our commitment to stress the importance of vocation in education.
Education is based on certification with no additional skill to offer.
So what do we find? People finish from school and they are unemployed and have no clue of what they can do. Some state governments are doing a lot in areas of empowerment but it has to be channeled in the proper direction. If we add some vocations to education, it will be more beneficial in the long run because you will have people graduating from school and have some skills to fall back on. The bitter truth is that everybody cannot do white collar jobs or be employed by government.
This year’s education skills fair is slated for April 18-20. There will be a seminar, training programme, skills and vocation and exhibition.