By EMEKA AGINAM
WITH optimism, by the end 2012, the former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has projected that Laptops for Learning Nigeria, (L4LN) project, a Lagos based not-for-profit organization would have introduced screen based technology to 700 children per school starting from Lagos and nationally thereafter.
What to expect in five years:
By his project too, five years down the line, the initiative aimed at providing Laptops to teachers and children as a learning tools to survive the 21st century would have exposed not less than 700 children per school across the nation.
Anyaoku who spoke to Hi-Tech in Lagos recently during the launch of the launch of i “L4L Clubhouse” initiative said that, “It is a noble project. It is all about the introduction of technology in schools, especially in poorer areas starting from Lagos. Eventually, we will be in other states of the federation.
At the moment. We are concentrating in Lagos. We are committed to given them access to technology just like in developed economies where children are exposed to technology early enough. We already have two schools including Kuramo Primary School in Lagos as a pilot project. Six more schools will be serviced by next year. The objective is to develop a replicate programme for school aged children across Nigeria.” Anyaoku assured.
According to him, what obtained in developed society will be replicated back here in Nigeria. We need to be begin to expose our kids early enough to enable them get the basic skills and knowledge needed to face the 21st century knowledge economy. W have to start now. We can do it. We need the support of the government and the private sector to achieve the objectives of this project, he added.
He explained that L4L believes that the education received by school aged children lays down the foundation for life and impacts directly on the effectiveness of secondary and tertiary education. “Young aged children are unafraid of technology. They are curious and ready to learn. They do not not lack capabilities, they lack resources and opportunities. L4LN aims to provide both of these” he added.
Similarly, for one of the co-founders of Laptops4Learning Tomi Davies, each school. “Our aim is to build 24-seat clubhouses which can support 100 children per term. Each year 1st Term – Primary 6, 2nd Term – Primary 5, 3rd Term Primary 4. So each year we have 100 new children who have been promoted from Primary 3 to Primary 4 join the Clubhouse and the 100 who were in Primary 6 leave for secondary school. Hence 700 in five years.
Part of the challenges, according to Davies was getting sponsors that engage with each school community, getting State and Local Governments outside Lagos to play a similar role to LASG, Lagos State SUBEB, Eti-Osa and Mainland Local governments in getting involved by providing resources but not funding.
Building L4L capacity to train, build and support the L4L Clubhouses while maintaining the momentum and quality delivered so far, he added were part of the challenges ahead.
Just last week, L4LN at the launch of its “L4L Clubhouse” initiative, he disclosed that L4L Clubhouses would provide public primary schools in Nigeria with a modernized classroom environment in which teachers and children can access screen based technologies such as laptops and tablets, use the internet and receive training.
How we work:
“We work with our corporate sponsors, the local government education secretariat and the States Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to select each school that will benefit the most from our after-school L4L Clubhouses”, he said, adding that, “We then engage with the school administration, teachers and parents association to ensure community ownership of the project”
In each participating school, he explained that a classroom was dedicated for exclusive use as the L4L Clubhouse.
“It is then completely refurbished to create a modernized environment in which screen-based information and communications technologies including internet, laptops, tablets and printers are made available. The L4L Clubhouses are run for two hours after school, Monday to Thursday by volunteer teachers who have undergone technical and soft skills training by Laptops4Learning.All children who attend L4L Clubhouses must have written permission from their parents or guardian” he said.
It would be recalled that in 2011, it was sponsored by Flour Mills, the Kuramo Primary School, Victoria Island became the pilot school for the L4L Clubhouse initiative.
He said that the Golden Penny L4L Clubhouse has been running for a year and plans are currently in place for the Mainland Primary School, Ijero, to become home of the “Leventis L4L Clubhouse” sponsored by the Leventis Foundation.
“Now that we have proven the model we are soliciting the support of private sector corporate organisations for the sponsorship of other schools as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility in communities in which they operate.” Carolyn Hall MBE, also a co-founder of Laptops4Learning, said.
She explained that the aim of the project was to provide screen-based technology to Nigerian Primary school teachers and children as a learning tool in order for them to embrace the 21st century.