By Funmi Ajumobi
Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board in collaboration with Universal Basic Education (UBEC) on Friday held in its SUBEB office a-day advocacy and sensitisation program for concerned stakeholders in Lagos State on the Cluster School Model training that has been adopted recently in public schools.
According to the Executive Chairman LASUBEB, Honourable Wahab Alawiye-King, the advocacy was the third phase of the Cluster School Model which was developed to enhance the on-job capacities of teachers and education managers for improved learning at the Basic education level.
“What we have been using in our education sector to have resulted in our basic education was the Cascade system whereby we trained our teachers and they then cascade what they learned to other teachers which was just an abstract replica of reality.
We have moved away from a system where we find faults in what the teachers are doing to Quality Assurance Model where we provide support to the teachers in the area of their needs. In the new model, we now put teachers in one place, get them trained and they then go back to their community where they have been identified as a cluster to dissimilate the information for effectiveness and efficiency”.
Alawiye King added that the sensitisation programme for the concerned stakeholders present was necessary for enabling an environment that devoid of interference to the success of the model, saying that their importance could not be pushed aside and should therefore take responsibilities in the management of the schools in their communities.
Honourable Dayo Israel, Permanent Board Member, Basic Education Quality Assurance, SUBEB, in his remark said UBEC has realized that the Cascade Model did not have much effect because the people trained when they cascade it to the lower level, it had diluted. He added that it was now easier to identify what was going wrong with a particular cluster, see how they could be helped and get them support which now improves the quality of teachers, the experience in the classroom and the learning experience of the pupils as well.
Presenting the overview of the program, SUBEB TDP Desk officer, Mr Akinnusi Felix, highlighted the features of the model as using a bottom-up approach where the on-the-job needs of the teachers are identified, carry out training on the areas, build local resource network in order to take the lead in all teaching and learning activities.
“The Cluster School Model was designed to assist with learning new alternative teaching techniques through model teaching by the mentors and some of the experienced teachers and resource, design and planning in a cooperative and collaborative manner, develop teaching methodologies that will help in delivering difficult concepts, have Mandatory Professional Development Meetings., joint production and improvisation as well as critiquing of instructions materials, sharing of ideas on classroom management and other pedagogical skills, effective utilisation of available resources during lesson study just to mention a few.
On the composition of the Cluster School Model, Akinnusi said there are 30 Clusters in Lagos state and at every cluster center, they have 55 members which include 40 teachers from 10 schools, 10 Headteachers, 2 facilitators/mentors from training institution, 2 LGEA Supervisors who shall be providing follow up and support and 1 SUBEB staff who will be in charge of documentation, follow up and support.
Responding to the initiative, the Lagos State University Vice-Chancellor represented by Dr. Jegede said the university is ready to collaborate, participate and ensure that everything that the teachers will need to inculcate the right learning into pupils will be supported.
Stakeholders in attendance were community leaders, NGOs, Civil Society, The Media, CDCA, CDAs, SBMC, Parents Forum, NTI, Representatives of Religious Groups, Women Leaders, Pupils representatives among others.