Archives: schools in Nigeria

Physical Activity is Essential to Learning

Getting quality education has gone beyond sitting in the classroom, taking lectures and going through subject exercises. Today, many school settings do not give room for sports and physical exercises anymore, sadly. As a matter of fact, many new schools in Nigeria do not have sporting facilities at all. Once a school’s promoter has found a building for classrooms and a tiny play area, all is good for schooling. This is not a trend that should be allowed to go on. Children need to be exposed to sporting activities and fundamental exercise practices.

 

Regrettably, with the increasing pressure on schools to ensure that children achieve academic success, and then the need for schools to maintain the standard of academic achievement of their students, physical activity is being pushed down the priority list. The time spent in physical activity keeps diminishing. In some schools, the average physical activity duration is now gauged within 10minutes. This isn’t enough time, especially as studies have shown that physical exercises do not have detrimental impacts on school grades. In fact, some studies have indicated that increased participation in physical activity leads to enhanced learning and even better grades.

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This is because increased participation in sports and other forms of physical exercise have been proven to aid the enhancement of cognitive functioning, memory, concentration behaviour and academic achievement for students. These practices are generally promoted for their positive impact on a child’s physical and mental health. It is also not to be forgotten that a brilliant mind will be severely hampered if the physical body it dwells in is unhealthy.

Even among working class adults, a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for ill health. Medical authorities keep emphasizing the need for working adults to include physical activity in their daily routine – walking, running, or others. How much more for children who are still in early and middle stages of development.

 

This is therefore a call out to our school authorities and management. There is an inherent need for growing children to get involved in adequate physical activities. Government educational agencies need to enforce this. Perhaps government can also assist educational entrepreneurs with easier (even cheaper) access to landed property so that the latter get enough space to provide for such activities.

NIGERIA NEEDS A MUCH STRONGER EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

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Being custodians of our children’s education, teachers play a very vital role in the society. From the creche all the way up to higher institutions, teachers are at the core of the education of our children. This is why the subject of training , evaluation and re-training should be taken as a serious one.

It will not do to have teachers whose spoken and written English are below standard. That would be very counter-productive, as students will end up learning the wrong things. That is why the training of teachers should be a priority, and not an after-thought.

It does not help either that many people who end up studying education at the higher institution level do so as a last resort. Unable to secure admission for the courses that they are really interested in, they settle for Education because of lower cut-off marks and easier entry requirements. Perhaps something is wrong with such a system? We end up with teachers who are not particularly wanting to teach in the first place, but are teachers by reason of circumstances.

That is bad enough already. Consider also that many of them are unable to put a flawless sentence together in English, and the issues quickly get compounded. We also live in a world where things change fast. As such, the need for evaluations and re-training as often as possible. The idea is to spot individuals who need to be chucked out f the system, as well as individuals who can get better with some more training.

If anything, Nigeria needs a much stronger educational system, and not one in which any and every one can walk in to teach. Things are already bad as they are. Implementing strong evaluation and re-training processes into the system can only be a good thing. Otherwise, we can say goodbye to any hopes of things getting better. Without sound teachers, there can be no such hope.

HEALTH IS VITAL TO EDUCATION

During the school assembly session at a primary school in Lagos, a child suddenly went limp and slumped to the floor. First aid was immediately given to her and her parents called on phone. In the meantime, the child was given a bed at the sick bay. The mother arrived in about 15 minutes. The girl had no temperature or any other perceivable symptom. She also confirmed that her daughter had a proper meal before leaving home that morning. As such, the mother was advised to have her undergo a medical check up. She seemed hesitant. Again, she was asked if her daughter had experienced a similar incident before, and she said yes.

According to her, the girl had suddenly slumped some months earlier but recovered quickly (similar to what happened at the assembly session), and so she had assumed that it was nothing.

We must never make such assumptions about our children. As a matter of fact, we cannot afford to take their health for granted. Sometimes, an early intervention can save both child and parents years of pain and agony later.

Health is vital to education. A child in constant pain or limited by a medical condition might not be in the best shape to learn. What can we do?

  • Pay attention to their nutrition. Good food is the first step to healthy living.
  • Ensure that each child gets adequate rest. Does your child observe siesta? That is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal.
  • Play: let your child spend adequate amount of time playing and exploring things. This is good stimulant for their minds.
  • Apply first aid in case of accidents
  • Follow up with a visit to the hospital in cases of unexplained occurrences e.g. slumping, fits, etc.

In the case of the mother whose daughter slumped, the school officials insisted that she needed to take her for a medical check up right away. Hopefully, she did. It is a new month. Let us be health-conscious with our children! God bless.

DISCIPLINE: A KEY PILLAR OF EDUCATION

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Instilling a sense of discipline in children is a must if we will succeed in educating them. In very simple terms, discipline is the ability to do pick up a task or commitment and stick to it till it gets done. This means, getting our children, pupils and students to read and study daily. It is a very good idea to help your ward develop the habit of spending time with books on a daily basis, even if it is a play book or work book at the pre-school level.

At more advanced ages, story books and text books need to become a part of a child’s daily routine. In today’s world, the word routine is not liked much, but discipline and routine go hand in hand. Life is routine. We get up everyday, get ready for school or work, head out, get our work done, and return home again. It takes a lot of discipline to succeed in life.

This is why we must teach our children discipline. A child may ask, “I studied yesterday. Why must I do it again today?” It is important that we provide a clear answer to help him understand. Sometimes he will understand and co-operate. At other times, he will want to have his way and do what pleases him. We must insist. While children are still developing their sense of values, it is our responsibility to guide and train. Often that means we have to be firm with them. Contrary to what some believe, being firm with a child is not the same as being unloving or harsh.

Without our firmness, children will never learn discipline, and we will end up with adults who are unable to commit and deliver. All the knowledge in the world, and all the skills in the world, are useless in the hands of a person who is unable to stick to a task by sheer force of discipline and habit.

We want our children growing up knowledgeable and highly skilled, but we also need them growing up disciplined.

CELEBRATING CHILDHOOD

As we celebrate our children today as part of the annual Children’s Day activities, we need to remember that we owe them a duty to love, provide for them, protect them, educate and train them, and to leave for them legacies that will last towards making their world a better place even long after we are gone.IMG00087-20140527-1319

A good father leaves good legacies. Good teachers do the same. They inspire loyalty and a desire to achieve in the children that they watch over. Long after our children have passed through our schools and gone on to live their own lives as independent adults, they will have memories of the times that they spent in our care.

They will remember those teachers, parents and others who gave them attention, helped them in their rough times, inspired them to be better and made a lasting impression on them. They always remember. Their minds never jettison memories of primary school, secondary school and universities. Those are memories that become a strong part of their adult psyches.

This is why we must take up our duties and responsibilities to them with passion and integrity. We are molding lives. We are always being watched and listened to. We are never off-duty. In truth, every day is children’s day. Once a child is born, the parent never goes on leave till death calls.

Here at First Veritas, we wish all our children happiness, health and years of growing in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. And to you our teachers and parents who still have parents who live, we wish you a happy children’s day, for you are still children to someone. Go back memory lane a bit and enjoy the memories of the wonderful childhood that we hope you had. Whatever your childhood was like, we hope that the memories ginger you to give today’s little children the childhood of your dreams.

Happy children’s day!

TEACHING GOOD HABITS IS ESSENTIAL TO EDUCATION.

It might not immediately seem so, but having children learn good habits is essential to preparing them to be successful in life. As such, we must invest in teaching good habits.

For example, it has been proven again and again that beyond talents and skills, personal discipline is far more crucial to success, whether one is an employee or an entrepreneur. On the job or as a business owner, things will not always go right. Sometimes, those dark period s are prolonged. It takes sheer force of discipline to stand through those stormy times. How is does this reflect on education?

As we teach our children arithmetic, languages, sciences, arts and any other field of knowledge, it is essential that we teach them the following habits too:

– Discipline

– Endurance

– Persistence

What other habits are essential to giving children a good foundation for dealing with life”s issues? Here is another list:

– honesty

– empathy and care for others

– the ability to recover from setbacks

– responsibility

In particular, some children have problems developing social skills. These are skills that are essential to interacting harmoniously with others. They need to be taught to children so that they develop them as life-long habits. Social skills include:

  • communication: talking, listening to others and understanding what thy heard
  • observing and understanding body language
  • thinking through the effects of their actions on others

The above lists are not exhaustive. Child care experts tell us that human beings learn much of their life-long character in their early childhood years. This underscores the need for us to teach good habits to children as early as possible.

Education is not only about being able to add, do sums, paint, draw, and learning of skills. It is the development of the whole child such that in addition to skills, the child is able to live, interact and work with others to achieve shared goals. After all, he will have to grow up and exist within society

 

Fire Drill in Nigerian Schools?

One can never underestimate the value of readiness. Especially in schools where the lives of hundreds of children may be put to peril, the necessity of stringent safety measures should be put into place.  Schools in Nigeria, in fact, schools generally, must have a working system for when unpleasant events arise, such as earthquakes and fires. A lot of damages can be avoided when students and teachers know what to do in case these untoward incidents happen.

Conducting fire drills in Nigerian schools is one way of preparing for these eventualities. When a fire happens and the entire school community knows how to act appropriately, unnecessary injuries will be avoided. On the other hand, lack of practice will cause alarm and panic. This will only lead to more damage and injuries and worse may cost a life. Let us all work towards a safer community.

Implement and practise a fire drill in your school today.

When to Build A School Website

From research, a lot of schools in Nigeria do not have websites and this should not be so.

Having a school website has many advantages. This is one of the many tools that advancement in technology has brought which has offered a lot of convenience to the whole school community. Having a school website allows school officials to let the people know what their school has to offer and why they should enroll their children there.

A school website is also an avenue for the school to inform the students and parents of school activities. A well designed and managed school website also offers convenient enrollment systems, student record access and a lot of other services of innovation.

That being said, the question of when should a school build a website is moot and academic. A school who wants to stand out and optimize available technology should have a website. If you are a school and have not started on this, you are missing a lot of opportunities, not only for increasing enrollment but more so, for making people aware that you exist in the first place as an institute of education. Now, is the time to act!!!