To build capacity and competence among educators in the country, 300 teachers in low cost private schools across Lagos State have been selected as beneficiaries of a training programme.
The programme, which would hold virtually for nine months for every batch, is organized by Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) and Buckingham University, United Kingdom.
AFED is the umbrella body of low cost private schools in Nigeria.
AFED’s National President, Emmanuel Orji, said the programme is presently free for all the 300 participants, who were also given free tablets and Internet connections to ensure seamless study during the period.
Orji, while describing the training as a dream come true, said the overall objective is to ensure that children of poor parents, who are mostly in low cost private schools, get quality education and compete with their counterparts in any part of the world.
He said the programme has come to bridge the knowledge gap among some teachers in low cost schools, who found it difficult to properly educate themselves and acquire competence, because of financial constraints.
“For what it is, low cost private schools hardly pay reasonable money to teachers and as a result, some of them actually do not have the requisite competencies that they require to deliver.
“Despite the fact that there is result showing that what we are doing in low cost schools is far better than what obtains in other places, we want to improve more,” he said.
Orji further stated that the programme was the manifestation of a journey that started long ago, and expressed happiness that it finally became a reality.
Earlier, Professor James Tooley, who is the Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University, said he was impressed with AFED’s effort at making qualitative and affordable education accessible to children from poor homes.
Tooley said he was looking for Nigerians to partner with him to bring quality and affordable education to all children across the country, including the North east region, thereby enabling the realisation of education for all targets in the country.
Project Manager, Dr. Daramola Ibukun, a retired director, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, explained that through the programme, teachers would be taught effective ways of using teaching aids to impact knowledge, judicious management of school funds and innovative ways of teaching during COVID-19 pandemic.
Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo commended AFED for promoting quality education in the country, particularly Lagos State, promising continuous support and collaboration with the association.
Adefisayo said she has a lot of good plans for low cost schools, but were stalled by the pandemic.
She said: “The administration of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu has already earmarked N5billion counterpart funding as credit access for low cost schools. This would enable owners borrow and pay back within three years at only nine per cent interest rate yearly.”
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN