My Reflection as a Volunteer for TOSSE 2017

Written by Elvis Boniface

Last week Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd June, the drum rolled for the 9th Edition of the Total School Support Seminar/Exhibition (TOSSE) on the theme: Creating A World of Possibilities. I posted the event’s press conference and wrote about it here. It was promoted interminably on Edugist social media platforms and my personal platform. Some friends had reached out to ask if I am part of the organisers. I was an eleventh hour team member, admitted with nineteen others as TOSSE 2017 Ambassadors barely a month to the event.

I am not new to volunteering for causes I stand for, especially if I can effortlessly measure the impact. And the rewards have been commensurate, if not more. I often preach this to young people. Volunteering and internship are priceless and faster ways to achieving career goals and networking with the right set of people. Having volunteered home and abroad for educationally, youth and media causes, I can say is something young professionals must prioritise.

Only in December, due to the recession, I did a road trip to Cameroun, then connected Gabon to support a colleague at The World at School (where I am Global Ambassador) to setup an affordable learning project, the first in the Region, using my experience of same project model executed in the Sub-Saharan of Africa

Is been a busy week with myriad deliverables and dateline lurking as a result of my two days of absent at work for the TOSSE event. My God-mother and evening workout partner, Mummy Grace kits up and wait for me, to go take a walk by 7.30pm as is the norm. No way. Since Monday! I leave the office at 10pm for the last three days. Then she plays the devil’s advocate on a phone conversation, slackly though, “Elvis, was that event worth the time and you returning now?”

I reflect here to answer Grace. Yes, it was worth every second and even more.  Is also part of me to document my volunteering experiences since 2014. Read my social media week volunteering reflection.

TOSSE is a complete education event. It presents a veritable platform to learn, network, buy at affordable price, win and overall, see innovation in the sector. As the convener, Yinka Ogunde posit in her welcome address:

Who thought back then that one could sit in a room in Africa to: hold a discussion with people from five continents at the same time (conference), upload goods on an online shop that has no physical address, yet churns out millions in annual turnover (e-commerce), then proceed to chat in real time with friends in Europe (social media), send performance report to a boss they have never seen (virtual assistants), get their salary payment notice from the unseen boss (fin-tech), schedule a blog post to go live in 23 hours’ time (publishing), ‘google’ some health symptoms and get serviced by an online doctor, and resume for a class in business administration at The University of Cumbria (education)? And right after rubbing minds with fellow students across the globe, this person can flip open a computer to watch a movie that was just released two hours ago in North America. Who would have thought that going ‘viral’ would become a positive thing; that a ‘graduate’ would blog for a living? Who would think that someone somewhere would release a virus/worm that would affect over 100 countries (Cyber Security).

The above clearly shows Yinka and her Edumark Consults understand changing time and the overarching implication on education. One only has to bless the day the idea of TOSSE was birthed, the source of supplies for it continuous execution and the people that have supported the initiative to remain evergreen, each passing year. The programming was top-notch, using all international #ed event standard – in my experience of attending the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE)  and eLearning Africa.

How can you not be happy at TOSSE?


On Seminar

I have never participated in any TOSSE seminars in the previous editions I have attended. This edition, I did not participate either, but I paid close attention. Great topics, fantastic facilitators – the sector best, esthetic venue partitioning and outcome met. However, I think the seminars should not be free, it should be paid for.

Furthermore, beyond the expert-audience model, panel session should be introduced where topical sector-centric issues would be debated among expert, teachers and parents, traditionalist vs technology modernist (teachers), pedagogy and its altercation. We have many to do in this regard.

On Partnership

A key word in writing fully what TOSSE stands for is “school”. And TOSSE is enjoying total support and the partnership of school owners. I would term this partnership horizontal relationship. There is need for urgent vertical relationship with the government. TOSSE have been doing this in my observation of the last three editions, but mostly with key players in government from Ogun and Lagos state only. Let the message of TOSSE get to them at the Ministry of Education in Abuja. It is time for a policy desk at TOSSE every year.

On Audience

Just about the right people attend TOSSE – teachers, school owners, parents, innovators and parents. But danger looms somewhere – in the various colleges of education, universities of and faculties of education. These would-be teachers are confused without redemption. I studied Education at the University of Lagos by choice. But ironically our institutions are replete with rejected candidates from other courses of study. People who thinks and already bitter with the illusion that studying education tantamount to teaching, which is equivalent to living beggarly and less prestige.

When TOSSE start inviting them officially to see education as a big industry, maybe the duskiness in their eyes would clear and new motivation rekindle. The revival of the rot in our National education starts with this ones. They’re the fulcrum in the education value chain.

On Exhibition

Thumbs-up for the exhibitors! Is obvious, only the best exhibit at TOSSE. If you’ve not seen that product or service at TOSSE, it is counterfeit. Take that to the bank 🙂

So many other thoughts. Maybe to be updated later.

Caveat: This remain personal observation and nothing more than that. TOSSE remains perfect without them.

You didn’t make TOSSE this year? There is good news for you; the recorded seminars are available for sales at Edumark office. Buy, it is high value for money.

The Edumark School Growth Academy is another service no school owner should hesitate to sign up for.

I will stop here for now with the closing point of TOSSE convener, opening speech

The world ahead is a dynamic one, filled with amazing opportunities or threats and unimaginable possibilities. That’s the world we need to start thinking about when we interact with our children. Beyond stuffing them with facts they can look up online, we must start impart critical thinking, problem solving, leadership and every other thing we know they would need for this world of impossibility. Only then can it be said that we have done well.

I definitely will welcome your thoughts.




About the author

Elvis Boniface

Ordained Evangelist of the Education Ministry. Learning is my lifestyle, credo and religion. On a mission to disrupt and redirect Africa's Education conversation using Technology and Media. We can do it. Open to discuss any Education initiative and idea. #peace

Speedy reach: +2348185787349 & elvis@edugist.org

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