Their State School Improvement Team (SSIT), supported by British consultants, have been focussing their efforts on training class teachers and they are also writing literacy and numeracy plans for years 1-6 for the teachers to follow (which I am now helping to edit). Their successes are also a result of all the government departments in the state working collaboratively together to make changes happen.
So, it kind of looks promising from the photo – classroom layout. . . group work . . . questioning skills. . .text books . . .class sizes.
BUT. . .
This school we visited (around 10am) had only ONE teacher in the whole school!!! 10 of their teachers were on some sort of summer course that had run over the summer holidays. The head teacher, who was also bringing 2 other teachers to schools, had broken down on the way and hadn’t made it in yet! So, here was a whole primary school full of children, with only a single year 1 teacher teaching her class!
I actually felt sick from the shock of what I was witnessing throughout these visits. This state, being ahead of the other 5 states (out of 36 states) that ESSPIN (Education Support Sector Programme in Nigeria) is working in, is the best that Nigeria has to offer its children!
With the children being more active you could also get a small glimpse of the poverty that they are living in . . . rashes on bodies, ripped and threadbare uniforms, sharing drops of water to quench thirst.
And truthfully, the quality of teaching we saw from a small selection of schools in the state is not even close to being as good as the quality of the resource shown in the photo! And although the teachers have welcomed the lesson plans and they are following them to some degree, they clearly have little or no understanding of them. And it’s no wonder when you remember that these teachers cannot even pass the level of literacy and numeracy of our Year 4 children.
But despite all this there was some sort of miniscule glimmer of hope in the fact that that Year 1 teacher was really trying her best, attempting to follow the lesson plan and to use child centred methods.