Prof Chris Imafidon, Helen Grant MP, Alero Ayida-Otobo, Alex Agara, Prof. Kamil Omoteso, other Education stakeholders hosted at “The Nigerian Child; The Genuis Conference by Africa House London and AreteCopious
The Education sector in Nigeria has been in dire need that demands a kind of ‘state of emergency’ on it. Most recently, it has become even more obvious that both teacher education, learning outcomes, curriculum review and implementation resulting in the high rate of employability is a bad omen for a country in desperate need for diversification and prosperity.
It is with this in mind that the Africa House London, a trade exchange and relation organisation working in collaboration with AreteCopious Ltd hosted an education summit tagged “ The Nigerian Child, the Genius” in Abuja on Tuesday.
The event which brought together teachers, school owners, pupils, parents, policy makers, private and public sector discussed the need to harness the inner genius of every Nigerian child. According to the CEO of AreteCopious, Catherine Enaohwo, “all children are geniuses and the capacity in them needs to be harnessed properly for them to achieve their fullest potentials...If Nigeria will diversify her economy, agriculture alone will not do, we need to look at innovation, enterprise, human capital development and education is part, so we must as stakeholders come to a united front on how to harness the genius in every child in Nigeria”
The aim of the summit was even better seen from the aspect of human resources going to waste due to the poor educational structure and that was expressed by Helen Grant MP, the First black woman to be elected as the conservative MP, who in her speech expressed that “ I believe it is the right of every child to receive an education and nations that fail to do that are missing out hugely from the talents and skills and abilities of huge numbers of people”.
And just as genius is defined as someone who ass exceptional intellectual, creative power or other abilities, we must adapt learning to how best each child can internalise it. We must indeed look at our curriculum again, seek imaginal teachers who think of the future and see themselves as parent their pupils/students. Speaking at the event too on the topic Rooted in Reality: Anchored on Hope Education expert and transformer, Mrs Alero Ayida-Otobo, mentioned that 1 out of 5 out-of-school children in the world is a Nigerian child and we are still hovering around 10Million total children out of school population at this time. According to her what makes the difference in harnessing the genius in a Nigerian child is dependent on “who they are born to, and where they were born”. She went further to show that genius isn’t just academic when she applauded Nigerians who are breaking records with their creativity and talents like Wizkid, Chimamanda and more. On the way forward for the education sector, these must be tackled “21st century non-compliant curriculum which she said the private sector must be involved in its review, Poor learning outcomes, lack of focus on early childhood education, quality of teachers and teacher education.
The event also had psychologist and mental health practitioner Dr. Alex Agara of Reconnect who enlightened participants on the effect of drug abuse among teens and young adults and how best to curb the menace so as not to hamper educational strides and the genius in the children.
|Dr. Alex Agara of Reconnect hdi Nigeria|
|Cross section of Guest speakers|
Prof. Kamil Omoteso of Coventry University spoke on the 3 way approach to making a genius child. He recommended Increased Government funding and fit for purpose educational policies and regulations, secondly Educators participating inclusively and with the right learning style per child then thirdly Parental role by not comparing one child to another and not controlling their internet access.
The major speaker, the patriarch of the family dubbed the smartest family in UK Prof. Chris Imafidon took over the podium and gave a solution based approach to learning using his family breakthrough for instances. Prof. Imafidon delved into the capacity of the human brain, the fact that all men are created equal and thus with equal abilities. He also recommended a curriculum-less style of education that will fit the learning style of each child’s ability having had his own children writing A level exam at an average age of 7 years and all 5 of them certified geniuses with multiple expressions. He growing up with Autism and have become a genius, he harped on the need for education to be approached more with innovation, inclusiveness and with an eye on the child’s best.
The AreteCopious and Africa House London have laid down a history a legacy that will invigorate learning and education in Nigeria and across Africa for a long time which is applaud worthy and need supporting.
Partners at the event include Rotary Club, FT Drive services, Startrite Group of Schools, Roberto schools, Univeristy of Abuja, Children affairs, Mike Omotosho Foundation, Premium Pension Ltd, FRAF, Portsbridge educational services, Process Care, Pishon, Reconnect, CodeSpark, Coventry University, Cooper Tech, Excellence in education, Eagle Scientific and more.
Speaking to the MD of Portbridge Stella Adagiri, she was keen on providing capacity for educators/teachers to realise that it is in their hands to understand, and harness the full potential of every child.
|Jenny Chisom, Don Laz Eze and Education advocate Joy Oballum|
A participant who works as a social worker in education, Joy Oballum stated her happiness at attending the event citing that the event had “all inspiring sessions and having just returned from an educational tour of Kano, Taraba, Ebonyi, Akwaibom, Plateau states where we went to check the status of education, interviewing parents, and assessing children’s literacy, this is a boost. Our findings on the field however showed hardly any difference between out of school children and in-school children from the states we visited, this is due to environmental issues and lack of infrastructure that discourage teachers posted to those regions from carrying out their jobs. The over-all learning outcome which Mrs Alero Ayida-Otobo metioned is key and we must focus as a people in bridging the gap and implementing the right strategies, she advised”
Other special guests at the event were Mrs Angela Ajala, school owner, Kenny Okorie of Rotary club Asokoro, Ms Chinyere Okonkwo of FT Drive Services, Mrs. Amaka Ndoma Egba of Startrite schools, Mrs. Margaret Stephen Orosanya of Childrens Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Findoro-Obasi – Africa house London