Educational Advancement Centre(EAC), in conjuction with a polish organisation, Why Blue Sky, on Tuesday, trained some primary school teachers in Oyo State on activity-based methodology for learning.
Why Blue Sky is an organisation based in Krakow, Poland, and has been cooperating with low-income primary schools in Southern Nigeria to train teachers on the four Cs of learning, which are critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.
Speaking, the founder, Why Blue Sky, Agata Wilam, said the aim was to train the teachers according to curriculum on what they need to do to be creative in their methods of teaching, adding that the programme was mostly developed from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
According to Wilam, the organisation focuses on STEM because science curriculum is universal. She, however, noted that some language courses are also included.
“We are cooperating with schools in Southern Nigeria to train teachers. Our workshops are intereactive and we focus mainly on primary schools. The main ways for children to learn is by doing.
“When they do things that are real and practical, they find the connection between real world and education. Children learn by research and they learn by doing things,” she said.
Wilam stressed that activity-based methods of teaching makes learning enjoyable and easy to understand.
“When you do things that are enjoyable, it is much easier to understand and be motivated to do it better than reading about it.
“They don’t need to memorise everything. What they need is to convert the learning to problem-solving skills. It is skills that are needed in the 21st century. You just have to know how to do things based on what you know and available resources.
“Activity-based learning will help the children to develop those skills,” she said.
She added that the training is also an avenue for the teachers to exchange knowledge.
In his remarks, the EAC Coordinator, Mr. Muyiwa Bamgbose, said practical is the real learning activity, nothing that Nigeria has a wrong curriculum that should be changed.
“We should change our curriculum; It is no longer an issue of knowledge content but ability do things. Students are being taught to learn to learn. New problems are showing up. We put too much emphasis on certificates; we don’t look at what people can do and that’s our undoing. So, we should shift the focus from that,” he said.
The EAC Coordinator noted that education is not supposed to be a problem for children, but something they will look forward to.
“Children at a tender age work on things and they were able to deduce. These are the things that give people life skills. If we can get our children to look forward to learning, then we can change the whole paradigm and scope of education,” Bamgbose said.
Explaining why EAC is collaborating with low-income schools, the Coordinator said: “We cannot singularly solve the problem of Nigeria or the problem of the world. If you find a good thing, I believe we have a responsibility to showcase it so that many more people will tap into it and go and make a difference.
“If it is so much of what we can do, we’ll be limited.That’s why we called them to come and learn new things that will transform their schools and impact the lives of the children. If we don’t do it, we’ll be doing the incoming generation a disservice.”
Bamgbose further stated that when the children can be creative, there will be progress.
One of the participants, Akintola Mabel, said the training has exposed her to the practical approach of how to ignite the curiosity of her pupils in learning.
She noted that most children are kinaesthetic, adding that with constant encouragement and engagement, the activity-based method of teaching and learning would be adopted in Nigeria.
Another participant, Adebowale Micheal, said he believes Nigeria can inculcate the activity-based methodology into the curriculum, especially at the pre-primary and primary school level, saying, “it is easy to remember what you see.”