It has is a fact that a lot of children in underprivileged communities attend school in un-conducive learning environments’. Children attend schools without toilets, running waters, and in rundown dilapidated buildings with no shelter that befits a learning ambience.
Adopt a school initiative (ASI) is a brain child from Zeitgeist Aesthetics (ZA) virtual chat room. ASI is targeted towards connecting schools to concerned individuals, organisations, religious groups and other well-meaning individuals by adopting school(s) in underprivileged communities in all Local Government Areas of Nigeria as part of Corporate Social Responsibility or as a philanthropist.
This initiative intends to kick-start with Apapa Local Government of Lagos state as a prototype, though not exclusive as the prototype is open to willing LGAs and States Education School Boards (SEB).
ASI is expected to be driven by stakeholders, concerned parents, teachers and educators, who have indicated a passion to come to the aid of the underprivileged Nigerian child living in these communities. The Nigerian child deserves quality education, as education is the right of every child.
The “adopt a school” project though not limited to these cardinal point aims to:
- Identify the total no of primary and secondary schools both government, missionary and private schools around Nigeria with poor or failed amenities and infrastructure, resolve the failing factors and provide the necessary COVID-19 safety materials.
- Carry out a needs assessment for schools and verify the information provided to enable:
- Well-meaning individuals and organisations provide amenities that are lacking in such schools, with amenities such as pipe borne water in the communities where these schools are located, better sanitation system in schools and learning centers in the communities as alternative for online learning.
- Train and equip teachers with the necessary skills needed to teach children using traditional teaching methods and online teaching.
The initiative will work with teachers through training and teaching aids so teachers could teach the children using contemporary online learning resources which in turn will reduce contact for the safety of both children and teachers.
– Virtual Learning Centres
The proposal for having virtual learning centres is an appropriate response to the lockdown effect on the school children.
The Virtual learning centres as the name implies will take place at designated centres for the benefit of school children in the remote areas that do not have access to online lessons like their counterparts in the cities and private schools who have been going ahead in their studies online.
. The following are the highlighted benefits of the virtual learning centres as:
- Collaboration – opportunity for children from different places to be taught by experts in the teaching profession
- Wider knowledge to be gained by the students
- Self-regulation – the development of individual ability, improvement and progress in learning.
- Contacting home – the society at large will be facilitated
- Banter, safety and sense of space – the centre will create an opportunity for the children to chat with their friends. Children are said to feel safer with friends than at home and are happier to know that they have a place they can go for few hours.
- Sense of achievement – the children will be fulfilled as they did not waste the months due to the lockdown since they would have had access to the wider world.
The centres will be equipped with necessary facilities like televisions, computers and plug/play to give the targeted students the opportunity to continue with their learning while the lockdown lasts. The platform will also create an avenue for the children to be exposed to the use of computers and improve in their communication skills.
Trained teachers/facilitators would be at every center to coordinate the activities and to give further explanation on any issue that may arise in the course of learning with COVID-19 protocols strictly adhered to.
More teachers will be trained and brought to speed while teaching would be in English language so as to encourage the students to be proficient in communicating in the language.
The fascination of the centres will motivate the children to learn and that the exposure value will be of great benefit in the long run if is carried out objectively.
The strategy to be employed in the establishment would be ‘from known to unknown’. This would involve the inauguration of the centres in areas where the logistics Resource Persons are readily available so that the lessons learnt from the centres will be transmitted to other areas.
On how the project will affect the community in the next 5 – 10 years, the centers will broaden the scope of learning for the children which will result in their ability to do amazing things in the world