“The only thing that is constant is change” – Heraclitus
As an educator and a parent, I understand the pain that our educational system elicits in people. A lot of people are dillusioned with the non-stop drive towards tests, they are beaten down by the exorbitant fees, and yet feel like prisoners of the system.
There is an enormous interest in driving innovation in education. At a lot of the workshops that I have been in, people meet me afterwards, excited about the frontiers that are painted in our discussions. There is the desire to help children discover themselves and become happy fulfilled people who are balanced all around, and not just testing machines, producing diplomas that they are unable to either defend or utilise productively for the benefit of society.
Like anything in life, the idea of the creation of how to bring about innovation has been a gradual process. I have had so many parents call me asking for advice on what school their children could go to that gives the balanced form of education they desire for them.
Finding a satisfactory school feels like a futile effort because most are too reliant on tests, while others dwell more upon how similar they are to foreign curriculums, which lack in correlation to our peculiar situation.
Parents are concerned and dissatisfied with their children’s education. They believe most schools are too reliant on exams, and the excessive workload exerts too much pressure on the children.
Many people deal with the educational system with an attitude of tolerance; they criticise it, whilst tolerating it. For several folks, the ultimate desire is to break the vicious cycle by sending their children to study abroad.
This exasperation with the educational system is the compelling reasons behind the non-stop exodus of children from our shores to get a “better” education.
A lot of parents are reluctant about their children going overseas, becoming hybrid young people who end up as foreign nationals, thereby losing what they know about their languages and cultures. It becomes a balancing act between identifying with Nigeria and the country they are studying in.
The desire is for education to inspire, motivate and enable children’s intrinsic aspiration to learn, improve their potentials, and discover their strengths, while helping them become the person they want to be. It also should help them grow up as globally capable citizens, or as I term it, “fully Nigerian, totally global” persons.
Let’s work on going beyond complaining and the leaving things the way they are, to conducting educational experiments and exploring diverse forms of learning, such as homeschooling.
Most parents share one thing in common – a desire to find an education that would help their children achieve their personal goals. Moreover, they want schools to not only cultivate globally competent talents, but also instill in them a true appreciation of Nigerian culture, especially at this time when some feel that our culture is being eroded by Western values.
It is also about getting our students to learn using the Ministry of Education’s curriculum and an amalgamation of curricula across the world that work for our children. Equally, to teach in an innovative and personalised way that puts them at the centre of the learning process, with their voices being heard and their needs met.
When the students are learning, instead of memorising and regurgitating knowledge dozens of times, they are encouraged to think and discuss what they are learning. They are also encouraged to note what they see in their daily lives, to study and pass these on to their friends.
In integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with project-based learning (PBL), this necessitates sharing content across all subjects to drive the curriculum. Teachers are not expected to simply deliver knowledge but also to answer the students’ questions and guide them to think, research and create things on their own.
PBL is a very effective way for children to learn. It can inspire their natural instincts to learn and explore the unknown. A good education is the ability to fill children’s eyes with the light of curiosity.
Let’s focus on doing things correctly, and doing things in a predetermined process that entails every step in being firm and solid.
Help us with our mission to bring about change for our students. Please contact me to see what we can do to bring about the desired transformation that we all desire for our children to be future ready!!!
Adetola Salau; Educator / Speaker / Author/ Social Entrepreneur / Innovator
She is an Advocate of STEM Education and is Passionate about Education reform. She is an innovative thinker and strives for our society & continent as a whole to reclaim it’s greatness. She runs an educational foundation with the mission to transform education.