How school provides equity for girls

With the earning power and gender inequality among factors that affect access to quality education, the new Managing Director of Bridge International Academies, Mrs. Foyinsola Akinjaiyeju says the school is one place where children can be sure to access quality education regardless of their economic background and gender.

In an interview with The Nation at the Lagos office of the Bridge International Academies, Mrs. Akinjaiyeju who resumed just in time to mark the International Women’s Day with the school in her new role, said the school ensures both boys and girls get equal opportunity to learn to and be the best.

“We are deliberate about ensuring equity among both the girls and the boys. And we focus more on the girls especially in relation to building confidence.   When you talk about confidence it is really about knowing I can do this because there could be this nudge or voice in your homes telling why don’t you just go and join your sister in the kitchen. But when you are continuously hearing and it is being reinforced in you that you can do it, and you are special in your own right, that is where Bridge comes in.  We encourage our pupils to stand up; take on challenges that were typically meant for the males, encourage girls to be leaders and go for those leadership roles,” she said.

Mrs. Akinjaiyeju also added that the school exposes the children to technology and devices early and both boys and girls are able to use ICT tools to learn and prepare for competition without worrying about the cost as the school has its focus on providing quality private education to children from low-income backgrounds.

Speaking about the Bridge Academies signature teacher’s tablet, which helps teachers to deliver quality instruction to their learners, the Regional Director, Academics, Mrs. Rhoda Odigboh who was part of the interview, said apart from saving teachers the stress of preparing lesson notes, the aim is to ensure that children get to learn what they are supposed to learn regardless of teachers’ level of knowledge or competence.

She said: “The instructional methodology that is applied in our lesson plan is that the lesson plan is structured in a way that ensures the how and style of learning is placed into the content.  We want to standardise teaching, Imagine different classes in different places where you have separate teachers taking maths, the outcome for each pupil could be dependent on the competence of each teacher.  That is something we try to address such that every pupil regardless of whether we change the teacher or not is getting same quality of teaching and so their learning outcomes or responses can be standardised and can be the same.”

However, though teachers have to follow the structured lesson plans using the tablets, Mrs. Akinjaiyeju said there is a lot of room for them to be creative.

“So regarding creativity, one could argue or think is an issue but I think not because I have seen and I have been to the classes. Maybe when you get to the classes you will see exactly how it plays out,” she said.


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