2019 in Retrospect: Our Journey of Empowering Teachers in Nigeria
Teachers’ Conference Nigeria is a capacity building and professional development conference for Nigerian teachers organized by Striving for Greatness Edtech Initiative. It was borne out of the need to bridge the knowledge and digital divide gap among teachers; empowering them with new 21st century pedagogical approaches to enhance better and effective teaching and learning in the classrooms. In Nigeria, there are hardly any measures put in place to empower teachers (in terms of training, seminars and conferences) after employment. Therefore, a teacher trained in the 1990s, except if such teacher takes self-development and capacity building seriously, teaches different students the same way for at most 2 generations before he/she retires. However, advancement in technology has brought forth better EdTech tools and new pedagogical approaches that enhance and promote the teaching profession. These tools, when properly learned and used could transform education in Nigeria and contribute to the Nation’s development as a whole. Hence, The Teachers’ Conference Nigeria (TCNG), with the help from her partners, introduces educators to these tools and approaches, drive conversation around improving education in the country and encourage the exchange of ideas on enhancing quality education in Nigeria.
Our 2019 focus: Spreading across Northern and South-Eastern states of Nigeria
The preceding years of the initiative have had Teachers’ Conference NG organized in four states in Western Nigeria (Lagos, Oyo, Ogun). In these states, over 100 teachers across different educational levels were trained. By the end of 2018, it was important to engage teachers in the North and South-east and preach the gospel of quality and transformative education in Nigeria.
To start off the Teachers’ Conference NG for the year 2019, Minna, Niger state was our first stop. It was two powerfully packed days of empowerment and development. It held in the Federal University of Technology, Minna in the Month of May 2019. We had over 100 educators in attendance. Some of the topics covered were the 21st-century pedagogical tools, STEM learning as a necessity for quality education, Google for Computer Science educators, Google Earth and Expedition, Power Searching with Google among others. Some of the Keynote speakers and facilitators were Prof. Musa Aibinu of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Professor Adeboyejo of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso. Educators across primary, secondary and tertiary level of education were present.
Engaging over 500 teachers across Niger, Kano, Cross River, Abia states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on topics explicitly discussing qualitative and transformative education in Nigeria, Online safety, Edtech tools and pedagogical approaches in the 21st century, basic internet skills, CS for educators, Google Search, Expedition, Google Earth among others; Teachers’ Conference Nigeria 2019 edition was impactful.
Educators and Teachers who attended different cohorts of the conference could not hide their excitement and appreciation. A number of them shared their testimonials with us here