Since Nigeria gained independence in 1960, almost every person that has contested for a political office has made a promise to reform the education sector and make it the envy of the world. It’s 57 years after independence and the budget for the educational sector of Africa’s most youthful country is 19 percent shy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) suggested ratio of 26 percent. It is interesting to know that this number has increased, with the government further dashing any hopes of an upward movement with the proposed 2018 budget. One might ask why this trend persists, but that won’t be enough to show what receiving education in Nigeria feels like.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that about 11 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the United Nations have described it as an acute teacher shortage. As a result of this, Nigeria is expected to recruit about 250,000 teachers to fill the gaps that exist, hopefully, this could lead to an increase in the quality of education. But the bigger problem is that these assumptions are made on the premise that a good number of the already employed teachers are qualified. Following the case of a competency test written in Kaduna state that has led to the termination of over 20,000 teachers, this should be thought through again. Shamefully, the teachers failed a test meant for students in primary 4.
Through the numerous debates on what needs to be done to help improve the Nigerian education system, one option has remained, and that is teacher training or teacher education. This training format dates back to 1879 when teacher education was introduced by University of Cambridge as a means of providing new skills and added knowledge to teachers. The Clinton Foundation explains the impact of teacher training in this report.
In view of this issue facing Nigeria, there is a learning and development organisation that has been involved in capacity building and continuous professional development for teachers known as Axiom Learning Solutions. Located in the financial hub of Nigeria, Lagos, Axiom has designed and facilitated direct training for over 10,000 teachers and over 250,000 teachers via innovative distributive e-learning across a wide range of learning modules, activity-based learning, classroom management, etc. Each training provides the perfect platform for continuous professional development for educational professionals. One other aspect of teacher training is its usefulness in inducting new teachers, by leveraging the experience of older teachers – mentorship style.
One area, which Axiom has focused on, is preparing teachers for classrooms with children that have special needs. So many children are dropping out because teachers can’t understand how to reach them, and for each child lost, a dream dies.
As part of efforts to improve special educational needs and disabilities in the country, Axiom, partnered with the National Teachers Institute to train hundreds of head teachers and junior secondary school principals across the country. The training workshop was an exposé on the relevant tools and skills required to promote inclusion for students with SENDS. The trainers were also equipped with materials to train other teachers at their respective schools thereby extending the level of impact. Through a structured monitoring and evaluation process, Axiom was able to monitor and evaluate the impact of training programmes at their respective schools and six(6) teachers with the most competent step-down process were recognised and awarded for their efficiency and hard work across the 6 geopolitical zones.
According to Axiom Co-Founder, Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo Nigeria didn’t earn the title of Africa’s Giant for its oil or agriculture, but for its human capital. Axiom has a unique desire to build a better world, and to do so by building people. We believe that one teacher better equipped has a ripple effect on a countless number of children; an impact that is almost immeasurable. Our current situation presents new opportunities to renew that investment and develop our human capital further. We can only do so if we leave the minds of our future generation in good hands; those of well-trained educators.