By Elizabeth Osayande
AS part of efforts to cushion the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the lives of school children, about 1,800 children in Ogun and Kaduna states have got offline learning kits to continue their education at home courtesy of a non-governmental organization, NGO, the Five Cowries Initiative FCI.
The home learning kits is part of “My Story of Water” initiated by FCI to provide access to education for children in rural areas without internet facilities.
According to the FCI group, the home learning kits, a series of worksheets, which require no access to electricity or data, are part of a fuller alternative education plan, keen on exploring the use of arts in nurturing creativity in education.
The kits they said would be used in conjunction with other supporting activities such as a weekly thirty-minute radio show incorporating lessons, storytelling, current affairs, and call-ins led teachers.
While noting that plans are underway to commence the initiative in Lagos State, the group added that the 1,800 children who received initial worksheets would continue to receive subsequent worksheets–in line with the learning schedule, every two weeks over four months;
Speaking on the development, Founder of FCI, Polly Alakija, explained that her NGO was working closely with technical and implementing partners such as: Teach For Nigeria and SOS Children in developing the educational content and DHL in delivering the sheets across the nation.
She added that the worksheets are available in Yoruba, Igbo and French languages, with hope to translate the worksheets into Hausa and Kanuri languages.
According to Alakija: “There is ample room for growth and evolution in the education sector and now, we have an opportunity to scrutinise mainstream teaching methods. Through these kits, we are able to provide structured learning for children across several learning platforms that still encourages playfulness and aids creativity,” she stated.
On her part, a Teach for Nigeria Fellow in one of the beneficiary communities, Nene Ibezim, noted that, “The children are excited to start working on the activities in the worksheet–they love hands-on experience. The rest of the villagers wanted worksheets for their own children as well. Currently, there is no other intervention in the village for schoolchildren so, the worksheets are a godsend. My kids felt really special receiving the worksheet.”