40 teachers trained through US funded Carrington fellowship

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Forty teachers drawn from schools within the Agege area of Lagos State have been trained under a United States government funded programme called Teaching Edge Nigeria.

Teaching Edge, is a project facilitated by the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI) Education Team. It was set to “equip and empower 40 teachers selected across 10 schools in Agege with 21st century skills,” according to its organisers.

EduCeleb.com reports that the CYFI is an annual initiative funded by the US Consulate in Lagos that seeks to develop a select group of young Nigerians into ethical and impactful leaders by connecting them with mentorship, networking, training and funding opportunities over the course of an intensive fellowship year.

Fellows are categorised into various sectors to handle various projects. Five CYFI fellows selected in 2018 as part education team of the CYFI are in charge of Teaching Edge training.

The training is focused on contemporary pedagogy and methodology, technology, inclusive learning, future of works, design thinking and other key areas relevant to the modern teacher.

One of the fellows, Hannnah Afia told EduCeleb.com that the selection of the theme for the training programme, “Upskilling Teachers for Educational Transformation” was timely.

“It is so important right now because various reports have shown that by 2050, we would have more Artificial Intelligence (AI) interference in the world. We need to build children for the future.

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“We are upskilling teachers to make them like their counterparts in the 21st Century so that they would build children who would not be left behind when disruption that has already started comes in full gear.”

Earlier in his welcome address during the 3-day Teachers’ Training held between Wednesday, 6th and Friday, 8th March, 2019, a CYFI Mentor, Mr Patrick Wilcox emphasised participants’ potentials to influence the lives of their students.

He said, “Each of you, as a teacher, is in a unique position to influence Nigeria. This is a rapidly growing country with a very large population of youth. What you do in teaching those youth makes a difference in their lives and teaching them well can make a very positive difference, both for them and for the country.”

One of the participants, Kafayat Bamishile said the programme had been an eye opener for her and her colleagues.

“There are some mistakes we make as teachers that we assume we know all learners. But from this programme, I have been able to realise that each learner has an individual need and we need to relate to them according to their character and personality.

The Lagooz Schools teacher said the programme had taught her that some of the things teachers would ordinarily regard as unimportant are actually relevant to making learning effective.

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Among such conditions Ms Bamishile identified from the training is the adoption of visuals as instructional materials.

“Most of the times, teachers just go to the class without instructional materials. They believe that what they are saying will be easily understood by students. But they don’t let those students see how relevant those things are to the outside world.

“So, we have been able to realise that even a little clip of video can go a long way to make that child see how relevant that particular topic is to his immediate environment.”

Another teacher, Habeeb Adenle of Al-Hikmat College in Agege said the training had better prepared participants for 21st Century teaching.

“Most of the time, when we go to teach, we just teach the theoretical aspect and some other things. But the initiative is now giving us the idea on how to make the students prepare for the future of works. It would therfore not just be what you are teaching in class as a theory but practical.

Mr Adenle said the training taught the participants empathy within and outside the classroom. He learnt through the training that understanding of the students’ behaviour, emotional intelligence, among other things could help teachers deliver on their duties as teachers.

Classroom psychology and facilitation skills training are among other lessons learnt there.

On how the organisers intend to monitor the progress of participants after, Ms Afia spoke of a cascading system that requires the teachers to train other teachers as well.

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“Each of these 40 teachers is going to train four teachers each. By that, we are going to reach 160 teachers. We would go to each of the schools and support them as they train other teachers.”

She added that the CYFI education team was also working on an online learning management system for teachers. This would connect teachers from the various schools and enable them access to resources from within and outside the training to assist them on the job.

EduCeleb.com gathered that teachers were nominated by their respective school heads after the organisers invited them.

The training, which came at no cost to the teachers afforded them access to modules of the courses taught and access to various facilitators involved.

The highpoint of the programme was the selection of ten of teachers as Teachers’ Champions. The selected are expected to also facilitate the training in their respective schools for other teachers to benefit from it.

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