Busola Thompson is a UK-based educationist with over 10 years’ experience. She is the brain behind Anchor Tutors, a tutelage service that specialises in taking borderline secondary school students to the next level in their academics. In this interview, the Osun State-born teacher explains why she has decided to bring Anchor Tutors to Lagos and more. Excerpts:
What is Anchor Tutors all about?
Anchor Tutors was born out of the need to assist children with their educational development. It was started in Essex, United Kingdom four years ago, when I was employed by a school to improve results through exam strategies. Primarily, I was supporting borderline children, taking them to the next level in their learning and school performances.
If we had a 3rd grade student, we would support that child to at least a B grade, and if we had a B-grade student, we would support him/her to get an A grade or an A+. What we do is help the school to improve on their academic standards in the Maths department primarily, because Maths is a core subject in the United Kingdom. It is Maths and English that is used to grade how good a school is.
Why are you bringing Anchor Tutors to Lagos?
I decided to bring Anchor Tutors home to Nigeria because back in the UK, I started to see the joy in both parents and children when a child moves from one level of performance to the next. I thought it would be a good idea to bring it home to Nigeria, so that children over here can also benefit from it. Here in Nigeria, I noticed that children value education, and because of that I want to see many of them succeed at a very high level so they can compete with their global counterparts. I want to ensure they are on a par with their peers abroad.
When is it starting off?
It will start off this summer. We have been to various private schools here in Lagos, engaging in intensive awareness marketing programmes and school presentations, getting parents to register their children for the summer school. The support we’ve got so far from heads of schools and proprietors has been enormous.
Are there plans to take this vision to the public schools as well?
Yes, we have plans for that. In order to bring this vision to the public schools where the masses are so that they can also benefit from this programme, I have visited some unity schools and they showed great interest in the programme. On a bigger picture, we will be taking it further to the public schools. We are in collaboration with Queens College, and will be using the school premises as our venue. The reason for our venue choice is to buttress the point that the summer school is not just for the rich, but for anyone that can register and bring their children to participate in the programme.
How have you been able to coordinate teachers who will assist with this project?
I have put together a team of leading teachers from the United Kingdom who also have several years’ experiences in the UK educational sector, to come to Nigeria for the programme. This is because they are more conversant with the scheme of work in the UK, which is our basic standard. But to support the local scheme of work, Queens College will handpick some of their teachers to work with us. They will deliver subjects based on the scheme of work from WAEC and NECO. We will be looking at teaching English, Mathematics, Literature in English, Sciences and IT courses as well.
Who are your target students?
Our target students are the secondary school students from JSS 1 classes to SS 3 classes . The reason is because although I have some experience in primary school teaching as a volunteer reader; I have always been a secondary school teacher. That is where my experience is based. On a later date, we might be looking at bringing it down to the primary education.
Is the tuition affordable?
I believe it’s affordable because we are looking at N100,000 for the five-working- week programme.
When will the programme commence?
It will start off on the 5th of August and end on the 6th of September, with a closing exhibition on the 6th of September. There will also be planned trips to some of the global companies in Lagos. The children need the experience of visiting those companies because it will help shape their career in the future. Some of these companies are large.
We need that to draw a picture in their minds, that they can be the Managing Directors of such companies. This will help shape their career choices. We are also collaborating with the Kid Golf International of whom my brother Oba Oladotun Thompson is the chair, so that they will be getting golf lessons as well. So it is a mix of curricular and extracurricular packages.