A network of community schools in Lagos and Osun, Bridge Nigeria is imparting academic excellence, developing leadership skills among pupils and preparing the young learners to become confident and empowered young adults as they progress in learning every day.
According to Academics Manager, Ezinne Tochie-Asogwa, the task for educational institutions in imparting academic learning is to ensure that students can achieve their personal and future goals and turn out to be successful citizens of the country. Adding that apart from academic learning, it is essential for pupils to develop leadership skills among themselves.
“At Bridge, we make provision of duties to pupils, particularly within the school and classroom to build their leadership skills. With positions like class prefects, head boys or girls, ambassadors, line prefects, etc. available in the school, they develop leadership skills and can lead and guide others in the right direction while inculcating the traits of selflessness, diligence and conscientiousness.” Tochie-Asogwa said.
Showcasing some of the Bridge girls with leadership responsibilities, Eleven-year-old pupil, Chioma Godson in primary 6 serves as an Ambassador in her class. Her responsibilities include guiding pupils and showing new pupils around the school. Chioma teaches other pupils things that they do not understand in the classroom.
Another pupil in primary 6, Funke Bhadmus is the class prefect with the responsibilities of putting things in order, helping the teacher., and making sure everything in the classroom is in good condition. Funke says her role model is Mary Slessor because of the role she played in stopping the killing of twins in Nigeria and her love for defending innocent people. She hopes to become a lawyer in future. “I want to be a lawyer because I want to defend innocent people like Mary Slessor. Bridge is giving me the right foundation that will propel me to succeed in the future by teaching me morals and training me to be a good leader of tomorrow.” She said.
On her part, eight-year-old Chiziterem Okorafor, a primary 4 pupil loves Maths and English because she enjoys solving new problems and reading stories. Chiziterem is the class prefect and has the responsibility of ensuring that her classmates are well behaved when the teacher steps out.
The Bridge model uses policies and practices that elevate learning and give equal opportunities to both boys and girls. Through innovative approaches such as gender sensitive instruction in lesson and textbook materials; expecting equal participation through ‘cold calling’ of boys and girls in the classroom, enabling pupils to succeed is a carefully designed approach.
A published report by the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) has revealed complete equity of learning in Bridge classrooms, regardless of a child’s socioeconomic background. The report negates decades of global education research that asserts that family background matters more than the school a child attends, in relation to levels of learning.
For consecutive years, Bridge International Academies pupils have sat for the national common entrance examinations examination, securing admissions on merit into top secondary schools and earning scholarship slots into aspirational schools across the country.