January 10, 2022

Empowering Future Ambitions for Children in Underserved Communities

Empowering Future Ambitions for Children in Underserved Communities

Bridge pupils in the classroom

…A peek at Bridge Academies’ impact in Nigeria

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon. Some are not even born with a wooden spoon, let alone a silver or gold spoon.

Those who are privileged to come from rich or middleclass families oftentimes have access to the basic amenities of life and have their needs provided without any level of struggle. On the other hand, a child that is born into a poor or struggling home environment, finds him or herself faced with tough setbacks and challenges.

For these children, their hope for a brighter future begins with access to quality education. A network of nursery and primary schools in underserved communities in Lagos and Osun state, Bridge Nigeria provides life changing education and offers the platform that puts children on a pathway to future success, irrespective of their socio-economic background.

To overcome the unique challenges faced by the Nigerian school children, Bridge uses a teaching and learning approach that involves age-appropriate learning, by adapting to a child’s level of understanding, identifying the readiness of a child to learn, and then following the best-suited method of teaching. Consequently, this personable approach has led many pupils from low-income families to earn grades that mark highly even on a national standard.

As a matter of fact, some brilliant Bridge pupils from less privileged backgrounds have scored top marks that have led to further educational opportunities. These include scoring near-perfect scores at the National Common Entrance Examination, and receiving scholarships to aspirational secondary schools.

A visit to a typical Bridge community shows children who are faced with unique but related difficulties and whose lives are being transformed by the education at Bridge, giving them hope to look beyond their prevailing socio-economic circumstances and dream of a better and brighter future.

Bridge pupil, Pwaakadi Sebastian, joined Bridge Rahimi Oyo Academy in Morogbo Badagry, after relocating to Lagos from Borno, in the north east part of the country. Unfortunately for Pwaakadi and her sister, Divine, their education was affected due to the insurgency, and so, they were out of school. A church member, Mrs. Veronica Okwolo, whose children attend the same school, introduced Pwaakadi’s parents to Bridge and enrolled them at the school, having witnessed the transformational education provided by the school to her children. According to Mrs Okwolo, the Pwaakadi and Divine’s potential was wasting away and she had to support the family in her own little way before it became too late. She recounted how her daughter who is now in secondary school lacked self confidence and needed support before she joined Bridge and how she saw immediate impact within a year of enrolling her at Bridge.

According to the parent, Mr Sebastian, “Pwaakadi could not communicate effectively in English before she came to Lagos, even though she understands it. Now, her numeracy and literacy skills have really improved, she reads all by herself and does her homework herself. All thanks to Bridge teaching techniques.” He said.

Another pupil, Bernice Daniel, a seven-year old primary 2 pupil whose mother is a petty trader had the opportunity to enrol Bernice at a Bridge Awelewa school in Obadore Akesan with the help of a church member after seeing her with the mother selling during a Bridge organised outreach programme. Now, Bernice is in school learning and hopes to become a doctor in future. Her mother had always wanted her children to be part of the life changing opportunity that bridge offers to the community and can never be grateful enough for the opportunity given to her daughter. The once timid Bernice is now one of the top performers in her class, she oozes confidence and looks forward to going to school everyday and learning with her friends. With the team of qualified teachers and a supportive Bridge academy at her disposal, Bernice has been placed on the pathway of achieving her dreams and changing the narrative of her family.

Bridge provides all round support to the 46 Bridge nursery and primary schools located across Lagos and Osun state through a full-fledged support office team. Examples of the support range from the curriculum development and instructional design through learning innovation and interventions by the Academics team, to the oversight management of all the Bridge academies by the School team to drive learning outcomes while the Learning and Development team provides coaching support and continuous training for teachers to develop new skills to aid effective teaching and learning.

Bridge Nigeria’s support team

In addition, the Operations team ensures that there are learning materials in the classrooms and pupils are learning in a conducive environment, the IT team also ensures the wireless technology being utilised at Bridge continues to deliver great results. For instance, the Bridge teacher guides don’t just display lessons, they also record attendance and assessment scores and track lesson pacing and pupil comprehension in near real time. While the smartphone application allows Academy Managers to seamlessly sync their academy’s tablets, pupil and teacher attendance, tuition payments, instructional monitoring, and more.

Quality education helps individuals transcend their limitations. Opportunities that they never imagined before would now become possible. It is through education that one can withstand the rigour of facing the challenges of life. As a result of the accelerated learning at Bridge, these children can now aspire to become doctors, engineers, scientists etc and look beyond their socio economic limitations. And this is only possible because of the life changing education at Bridge.