Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Ventures Africa and Wikimedia Dinner on Future of Free Knowledge, Day 3
- 1 Attendance
- 2 Agenda
- 2.1 How do students learn in Nigeria today? In 5 years? In 15 years?
- 2.2 What are the top challenges facing education in Nigeria?
- 2.3 If I could give one thing to students/teachers/schools today, what would it be?
- 2.4 What is the reward for education?
- 2.5 Which would you rather have?
- 2.6 Training the Teacher
- 2.7 Technology
- 2.8 Key takeaway
- 3 Conclusion
- Misan Rewane- WAVE
- Kehinde Ayanleye- Stutern
- Utibe Henshaw- TEP Centre
- Remi Ogunkayo- Red media/ Statecraft
- Shola Olaniyan - Wiki Community
Team: Jack Rabah, Edore Nakpodia, Kaaranja Daniel and David Adeleke
Broad questions were used to generate conversation around the educational sector.
How do students learn in Nigeria today? In 5 years? In 15 years?
- Textbooks, handouts, lesson notes
- The internet, elearning, TV
- Rote learning
- Outdated curricula
- Test-driven learning
- Poor physical infrastructure
- Overcrowded classrooms
- Peer learning, from parents
- Absent teachers: teachers don’t want to teach and many are not adequately trained to help students learn.
In 5 years:
- Via the internet (digital learning: apps, social media)
- Huge collaboration across borders
- Learning things applicable to the local context
- Teachers will learn how to teach and drive self discovery
- Learning will be more individualized, self directed and customised. Here a person decides for himself how and when the length, breakpoints and pattern of his program/course will be.
- Classroom learning will be disrupted because of the availability and accessibility to knowledge on the Internet
What are the top challenges facing education in Nigeria?
- Outdated curriculum
- Poor infrastructure
- Language barrier
- No outcomes based: No way to accurately test the impact of what is being taught in schools
- Technical know how: Many of the teachers do not know how to teach and students do not know the best ways to learn.
- School curricula are disconnected from industry
- Power and authority: Students respect their teachers too much to ask questions and disagree with what they are being taught. The teachers also do not know how to stand up against dissent.
- Untrained teachers
- Poor school management system
- Government policies are uninformed or not evidence-based; they are also not well implemented.
If I could give one thing to students/teachers/schools today, what would it be?
- Free internet – to all parties
- Training for teachers
- Good salary schemes
- Early literacy
- Artificial Intelligence-assisted learning
What is the reward for education?
- Skills (for the workplace)
- Better mental models (how to think)
- Better knowledge
- Self actualisation
Which would you rather have?
Guests were asked which of these options they would rather have, and voted accordingly. They voted in this order:
- Good teachers
- Good technology
- Good materials (books, apparatus etc)
- Good school infrastructure (Physical- buildings, laboratories, libraries, desks and chairs etc)
Training the Teacher
Proper teacher training is the key to improving the educational system. Teachers can be taught how to use technology to improve their teaching skills, but training the teachers to be better at their jobs, acquire the necessary and updated skills, and value their role in the lives of their students, is the most important thing.
Teachers should change their mindsets and see themselves as a ‘Guide on the side’ instead of a ‘Sage on the stage’. They should not be afraid to be wrong and learn from their students’ questions. This way, teachers are empowered and in turn they empower their students.
Technology can be a catalyst for improving the education system, but it cannot replace the value that good teachers bring to students. We need to change our mindset around technology, and see it as a catalyst. The teachers need to know that technology can help them and make their jobs easier. Participants gave instances of when teachers felt either threatened by or lazy to engage the internet for training and ideas, even though they had smart phones. We gathered that a lot of teachers are ignorant of the ways that the internet can empower them. This is possibly because of data and poor access.
So that led to a point (for an ideal situation), that we need to provide free access to the internet for everyone and let’s see how the world would be and what people will do with free internet.
Teachers training is vital to changing the educational system; they should be better equipped with technology. What makes a great teacher is the human element, all other things are supplementary. So, the question is, how do we redefine what a teacher is? How do we get people to understand that being a teacher simply requires you to just break complex things down to simple bits for people. It doesn’t mean you should know everything, but you should know how to guide students to the answers they seek. You should be able to teach the child to learn how to learn all through his life.
Since Education is a very broad subject area, the discussions were more generalized. The discussion seemed a bit like a Focus Group Discussion because of the direction of the questions.
A vital point reiterated however was the importance of training the teachers and a participant made this point very clear like this: if a class is under a tree, and you have a Good teacher who is equipped, even if the curriculum is outdated, the children would still learn and be sound.