How we are helping in the midst of COVID-19

The Future of School and Education in Africa and the Role we are PlayingWith the global COVID-19 pandemic causing unprecedented challenges and disruption, no one can say for sure how long the crisis will last, or what we will find on the other side. We do know that the education community won’t be returning to the “old” normal. The future of school may be dearly uncertain but what is certain is that the future of school can no longer be caged by the four walls of classrooms. The big question is if Africa is ready for the all-important new normal. From the technology revolution to teachers’ training and students’ adaptability, a lot seems to be missing.    As an organization, what role can we play? As a host organization for World’s Largest Lesson in Nigeria, we have designed and currently implementing some intervention initiatives. We know that teachers remain crucial if anything will go well but teachers who cannot fit into the “new normal” may be out of a job or seizes to make an impact.  This is why we created the Teachers Upgrade Online Training. This Teachers Upgrade Online Training is built to support teachers’ ability to scale up their skills and expertise while advancing their career opportunities in the post covid19 era. With over 900 participating teachers, the 5 weeks virtual training has revealed, sadly, terrific technology skill gaps in Nigeria’s teaching workforce with just about 5% of the entire participating teachers having elementary tech knowledge to aid teaching activities.  The objectives of the training as designed include; To address the huge technological deficit currently on display within the teaching workforce and bring them up to date with the global teaching standard. To help teachers to transition smoothly to the use of digital skills and other innovative skills which have proven effective in addressing education deficit in such a time like this. To help teachers in acquiring skills that are needed in raising younger generations who are better positioned in using education to solve social problems. Our intervention can be said to be timely and pragmatic in nature. Our tailored training will introduce and build the teachers’ capacities around,
1. Teaching and technology: The link between technology and learning. Introduction to digital/virtual teaching delivery, Digital classroom setup, and management.
2. 21st Century Skills for impactful learning: developing well-rounded teachers that are relevant for the future of work in the Education sector.
3. Employability Skills: Teaching career readiness and inculcating these skills at an early stage of learning.
4. Community- Based  Learning: Connecting students’ immediate environment with classroom learning for improved knowledge.
5. Digital Club setup and management/Club learning ideas challenge.
Teachers with the best learning performance will win laptops and other teaching aids as part of our contribution to building their capacities to align with global realities and trends. Key outcomes expected to be sustained from the training include; An improved standard in education and learning in schools decline in the deficit in technology use in education and learning in Nigeria. Huge investment in digital skills training across the nation for teachers increase in the use of digital learning tools in teaching and learning in classroom education.

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