By Dayo Adesulu
THE Director of Sunnydale School, Ikeja, Mrs. Folake Osisanya has said that one-on-one approach system is key to learning in elementary schools. Osisanya, who spoke in Lagos during during a press briefing to announce activities to mark the the school’s 20th anniversary said a child is not taught in abstract terms to make learning permanent but one on one learning system.
She said:“At Sunnydale School, any student who scores below 70 per cent is not promoted to the next class.” What the school does is to identify and sort out children with low learning deficiency at the beginning of the session and allocate a teacher to them on one-on-one basis.”
With this method adopted, she maintained that within few months such children catch up with others. She said, “when a child is confronted with a challenge, the school assigns a teacher to him, however, we ensure that no teacher has more than four students.” With that approach, she noted that many children who were below average before they came to the school became academic stars before they left.
Speaking in the same vein, head of school, Mr. Adegboyega Fadare, pointed out that as a result of the special handling of the children in the school, four of students had represented the school in a national competition and one of them emerged best. He said in Sunnydale, they do not have twenty students in a class, stressing that with the few students in a class, it gives a teacher the opportunity to know the students one on one. “Teachers should be able to address every child by name, know his needs and meet them,” he said.
Meanwhile, teachers in the school have shared secrets on how the school grew from 15 to 300 students. They said that the school which began with three play group children, two nursery one children, four nursery two children, three primary one and three primary three children in 1997 has within two decades grown to over 300 while maintaining quality and academic standard at the same time.
Explaining why many of the teachers remain with the school for years, many of them who spoke with Vanguard said that they were comfortable with the working conditions of the school. They said the teachers’ children pay only 15 per cent of the fees, adding that they have medical insurance, and were given opportunity for overseas all expenses paid trip for training.
On security issue, Mrs. Ade Fakoya who has taught for over a decade said the organised security of the school makes parents proud of Sunnydale School. She said that apart from the presence of the Police and other security agencies, the head security of the school knows all students and those who come to pick them after school.
She said that as a matter of principle, only the registered vehicle and drivers are allowed to pick children, adding, “If a parent changes the vehicle that picks the student after school, we will not allow him to pick the child except he registers such vehicle with us. Our school buses are safe wherever they are because we have a way of monitoring them. Even in the school, we have our CCTV.”