By Emmanuel Adeleke
Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative in collaboration with the United States (US) Consulate in Nigeria have commenced training for 100 teachers across Oyo State on how to enhance learning with the use of creative arts.
The one-year capacity building training, themed: “Ibadandun Project,” started in August 2021, with participants drawn from primary and secondary schools in the state.
The ‘Ibadandun project’ is yielding tremendous result as students and teachers happily displayed some of their art works at the venue.
The initiative, which started in August 2021 has been helping teachers to handle subjects in the best way possible and aiding the learning process of the students in their various classes.
The enthusiasm of the participants towards the project indicated how interesting and impactful the programme has been.
Speaking at a bootcamp which held at Whiz-Kids International School, Ife Road, Ibadan, the Deputy Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate, Lagos, Jennifer Foltz, said the US mission in Nigeria is committed to supporting the educated populace by building the capacity of teachers.
She said the initiative has been fantastic, stressing that they have been receiving position reviews from the teachers.
Foltz added that Five Cowries was one of the implementing partners of one million teachers and colleagues of American Corner, Ibadan.
“When you engage teachers in training and learning skills, the students will learn better.
“We understand that 100 teachers are small in number but when they go back to impact thousands of students, with 10, 20, 50 teachers, the ripple effect will really be massive.
“There is another programme called TEA, Teaching Excellence and Achievement programme. With that programme, we choose very outstanding secondary school teachers from across Nigeria, they go to the US for six weeks intensive programme at US institutions, and they learn how to teach new skills in their subjects areas. We are doing a lot across Nigeria to support education and teacher training,” she said.
Foltz added that the one-year programme in Oyo State will end in June 2022.
The selected teachers commended the project.
One of the participants who is the proprietress of Whiz-Kids International School, Ibadan, Mrs Funmi Olanrewaju, said the programme has been of great benefit to the students and teachers, adding that it has increased their hunger for locally made products.
She said: “It has increased our creativity skill. It has improved team work. Before, they (pupils) liked doing things on their own, but with this project, they discovered that there are some things they can’t do on their own. It has also reduced hunger for imported products because there are so many imported things that we can produce by ourselves. It has reduced wastage. We now value what we have more.”
A teacher, Mr Timothy Ojerinde, from Methodist High School, Ibadan, said the training has really helped him in creative thinking, stressing that he is now imaginative when teaching his students.
“It enables them to remember quickly some things they have been struggling to understand. It also helps them to participate fully in class. It has really helped their attitude towards learning,” he said.
Mrs Ronke Ojo from UMC School 1 and Mrs Josephine Ogunwuyi from RCM basic school, Igana, Iwajowa Local Government Area, corroborated their colleagues’ position. They said the training has been helpful and has really helped the thinking capability of the students.
Foltz emphasised that the US government was committed to a more educated population and capacity building for teachers.
She also commended participants who were showing excellence and improving teaching and learning in their various schools. She urged them to train other teachers to enable the project achieve positive multiplier effect in schools.