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US Consulate, Street to School Initiative launch training workshop for teachers in Lagos

In a bid to raise the standards of teaching in Lagos State towards meeting the demand of the 21st century, the United States Consulate General and Street to School Initiative, a US government exchange alumnae-led organisation, on Friday, launched a two-day training workshop for teachers in Lagos State.

The program, themed “Re-Imagining Education X 2021: the teacher on the move”, and which was fully sponsored by the US Consulate General, was held at the Lagos State Education Resource Centre, Babs Fafunwa Compound, Oba Ogunnusi Road, Grammar School Bus Stop, Ojodu, Lagos State.

The initiative also aims to strengthen the digital skills of the participating teachers to enable them to utilize digital tools and platforms more effectively in both classrooms and virtual learning environments.

Friday’s opening program was attended by Stephen Ibelli, the public affairs officer at the US Consulate; Abosede Adelaja, permanent secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, and Oluwatosin Olowoyeye-Taiwo, founder, Street to School Initiative.

The workshop was also graced by Adeola Adejumobi and Chineye Uwadileke, both of the EducationUSA Team; Temitayo Famutimi, information specialist, public affairs section, US Consulate General, Lagos; Opeolu Tella, dean of student affairs, Corona College of Education; Yemi Adebayo, director of education, Lagos State Ministry of Education; Kelechi Uchenna, co-founder, Nigenius Technologies, and Adedamola McCarie, lead developer, The iSchool CLOUD, among others.

Participants at the training workshop also included a fraction of the 300 teachers randomly selected from a pool of over 1000 teachers that applied for the workshop in Lagos state.

Read also: 9 out of 10 schools in Nigeria have no hand-washing facility for children – UNICEF

On the importance of the program, the US Consulate General stated through a statement that the workshop was meant to train the educators on student-centered teaching methods.

“Through this program, 300 high school teachers from Lagos, Rivers and Enugu states will learn best practices in effective virtual classroom pedagogy, curriculum development, lesson planning, and student-centered teaching methods. The project is sponsored by the U.S. State Department through its Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund”, the US Consulate General in Lagos, said.

In her welcome address, Olowoyeye-Taiwo, founder, Street to School Initiative, emphasised the need for the adoption of technology in order to become effective 21st century educators.

“Prior to Covid 19 pandemic, teachers had clear consistent routines and procedures with regard to management strategy and classroom capacity. The sudden shutdown of schools impacted the teaching profession as many were not able to keep up with the growing needs for virtual teaching, new pedagogical challenges and evolving learning methodologies,” Olowoyeye-Taiwo, said.

While giving his keynote speech, Stephen Ibelli thanked all the stakeholders, especially the officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, US alumni for their support which culminated in the successful hosting of the program.

“It is great to be here to launch “Re-Imagining Education X”, a project supported by the US Government through our Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. We also thank the Lagos State Ministry of Education, and indeed, the permanent secretary, as well as the director of education of the Lagos State Ministry of Education for their behind the scene activities. We have here an amazing list of trainers and speakers who have come together to support this project.

“From north to south, we support education programs in Nigeria. As we have found out in the last eighteen months, we need to use technology and virtual workshops to be able to reach students wherever they are in their communities. This project will bring together 300 teachers, to learn, network and equip themselves for the 21st century education needs”, Ibelli said.

“Nigerians are encouraged to visit for more information. The various opportunities offered by the US Government are merit based. You will be selected not because of the person you know; rather it is because of the strength of your character, academic accomplishments, and the ability to change the society around you for the better that we, the United States Government, is interested in”, Ibelli added.

In her goodwill program, Abosede Adelaja, permanent secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, said the roles of teachers in the nation’s development cannot be overemphasised.

“Teaching is a job that cannot be eliminated. The buildings will not teach the children, the teachers must still play their roles. With all the virtual learning activities, the teachers will still be involved because behind the scenes, it is the teachers that will follow up to assess if the students are gaining or not”, Adelaja said.

The EducationUSA Team enlightened the audience on ways both the teachers and students could finance their education at different levels through different programs and facilities such as advisory and funding which are provided by the US Government. The team advised the participants to explore for more beneficial information.

According to them, there are 30,700 Nigerian students pursuing different academic programs in tertiary institutions in the United States of America (USA), and that makes Nigeria the 11th sending country to US institutions today.

Above all, some teachers were gifted with items such as ipads and laptops.

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