In a bid to support 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, organized by Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) and Buckingham University, United Kingdom, would hold virtually for nine months for every batch. AFED is the umbrella body of low cost private schools in Nigeria.
The National President, AFED, Emmanuel Orji, said the programme is presently free for all the 300 beneficiaries, who were also gifted free tablets and Internet connections to ensure seamless study during the period.
Describing the training as a dream come true, Orji said the overall objective is to see that children of poor parents, who are mostly in low cost private schools, get access to quality education and measure up with their counterparts in any part of the world.
According to him, the programme will 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 is obtainable in other places, we want to improve more,” he said.
Speaking further, Orji said the programme was the manifestation of a journey that started long ago, and expressed happiness that it finally became a reality.
In an earlier address, the Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University, Professor James Tooley, said he was pleased with AFED’s effort at making qualitative and affordable education accessible to children from poor homes.
Tooley also informed that he was looking for Nigerians to collaborate with him in ensuring that quality and affordable education gets to all children across the country, including the North east region. Thus, enabling the realisation of education for all targets in the country.
Also speaking, Project Manager, Dr. Daramola Ibukun, a retired director, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, noted 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 lauded AFED for promoting quality education in the country, particularly Lagos State. She assured continuous support and partnership with the association.
The commissioner said she has a lot of good plans for low cost schools, but were disrupted by the pandemic.
“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,” she stated.