Originally posted on MILE2HERALD (OMG! NEWS AND INFO):
ELDER SOLOMON ADESINA OGUNLANA (J.P.)…REMINISCING A GREAT FATHER-IN-LAW Hon S. A. Ogunlana is his name and my wife’s father too. But permit me to call him Grandpa. When we first met…
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Elder Solomon Adesina Ogunlana J. P. was born in Ilisa-Ita Oliwo compound at Iperu Remo, on 2 1/11/26. He was the only child of late Madam Safuratu Efunkoya Ogunlana and the first of the two children ofPa Yinusa Ojuroye Ogunlana, a distinguished trader in Aso-Oke (Native Cloth).
He had his primary school education between 1935 and 1943 at Wesley Primary Schoool, Iperu Remo under the notable late Ebumawe of Ago Iwoye, Oba D. M. Osiyemi as the Headmaster and Rev. W. F Mellor as the District Superintendent. He was a chorister, a flute player of Boy’s Brigade and first eleven footballer. By academic performance he qualified to enter the Wesley College, Ibadan. But contrary to attending a Teachers’ College he chose Baptist Boy’s High School, Abeokuta which also gave him admission in 1945. He completed his secondary school education in 1950 and was successful in the Senior Cambridge School Certificate Examination.
He started his working career at the British Ordinance Depot, Yaba, He then moved to P&T (Telegraphic section) where he worked briefly before joining the UAC Ltd in May 1951. At UAC he worked till 1957. In Nov. 1957 he joined ESSO West Africa Inc. which was later to be known as IJNIPETROL and now called OANDO PLC. He worked there till 1960.
In June 1960, he was employed by Shell company of West Africa Ltd later known as National Oil and Chemical Marketing Plc.(NAOCM). There he had series of training courses including accountancy with ACCA. He had a distinguished career of twenty-five and half years in National Oil and Chemical Marketing Plc also later called CONOIL before retiring as the Management Payroll Accountant in November 1985. He was the Treasurer of the Co-operative Society Branch of NAOCM.
Married to late Grace Adunni Awoderu of Ogere-Remo, he was blessed with two children before she died in a ghastly motor accident on 9/7/56. (May her soul rest in perfect peace).His second marriage to Janet Olatunde Odetoyinbo has also been very successful and blessed with five children. His seven children are Oluremi (Public Administrator/Retired Civil Servant), Olabisi (Lawyer/Retired Civil Servant), Modupe (School Vice-Principal), Olusola (Medical Doctor), Abimbola (Chartered Accountant), Adebayo (Chemical Engineer) Oluwatoyin (Electrical Engineer). He is also survived by many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In 1989 he joined active politics and in 1990 was elected as a councilor into the legislative arm of the Shomolu Local Government and worked as a legislator while simultaneously discharging the functions of the Chairman, Works and Housing Committee which was dissolved in Nov 1993. He was the Chairman of Shomolu LGA of AFENIFERE which metamorphosed into the DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES’ ALLIANCE. He was also a member of the executive arm of the party in Lagos state where he worked closely with Mr Jimmy Agbaje as the gubernatorial candidate. Coincidentally, Jimmy and wife had been long-time friends with some of his children from their university days at OAU, Ile-Ife.
His social life was very pleasant having been the President of Iperu Club 48. He was also the Financial Secretary of Remo High Society. He became the Chairman of Pedro Community Development Association and Treasurer of Alabi/M.Bakare/Adeffiye/Akinsanya St. Landlords’ Association. He was also the Treasurer of the Federal Road Safety Special Marshall Unit 73 Shomolu.
He was a devoted and very prayerful Christian. In particular he was a completely committed member of William Memorial Methodist Church Ago-Ijaye, Ebute-Metta, Lagos and an Executive member of the Men’s Christian Union and Assistant Auditor of the Elders’ Union.
All through his life and as shown by this biography his most notable traits were honesty, dependability and an unshakeable faith in God and education. As accountants say he was ALWAYS TRUE & FAIR. Even in his church societies members gladly added that he MAINTAINED AND SUSTAINED through his genuine friendships and care of his family and external relations.
Therefore we glorify God Almighty for his disciplined life and pray that the soul of our father Hon. Solomon Adesina Ogunlana rest in perfect peace. Amen
Omo Iregun Shabii
Omo maka alo
Ko gbodo jerin
Ijalo to nja lehin ogba
Koje komode ile lo musu wa
Omo isu wa nle
Ko sobe ta ma fije
Omo iwera oke elewu ara
Omo idarika,ni kabo
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EDUCATION IN NIGERIA AND RELEVANCE OF EDUPEDIA ASSOCIATES
WHAT IS EDUCATION?
By the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, “education” is a process of training and instruction especially of children and young people in schools and colleges etc. designed to give knowledge and develop skills.
Education, as we know it today, takes place throughout life from basic education which teaches Nursery and Primary school students reading, writing and arithmetic skills to Secondary school education which prepares students for Higher Education. We have Universities or Polytechnic education to provide technical and specialized skills for obtaining more rewarding careers. Other types of education include Continuing Education and professional development courses which provide information or expand people’s working knowledge and help them to take advantage of future career opportunities.
Education is not about schooling alone. In fact, Mark Twain had this to say “I never let schooling interfere with my education” This is a truism our group of schools has attempted to explain in the past through a write-up “Am I a student or just an attendant at school?” We have also emphasized this through many after-school programs to show that education is made up of both classroom and non-classroom experiences. Non-classroom experiences are also covered by your relationship with your friends and your socialization through your parents, neighbors, churches, mosques and the society at large. This has made someone (Henry Drummond) to state that “Life is not a holiday but an education”.
The purpose of education as the Bible (Psalm 90) says, however, is to “teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” To connect wisdom to happiness let us quote the Bible again “Only a wise man knows what things really means. Wisdom makes him smile and makes his frowns disappear” (Ecclesiastes 8:1). In other words, education should lead to wisdom and wisdom should lead to happiness in life.
Earlier we stated that education is designed to give skills and knowledge. But does knowing lead to wisdom? For this, let us consider a truism stated by a man of God called C.H. Spurgeon. He says “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”This leads us to another truism to be studied later about how we use the knowledge and skills we learn in schools and ultimately to the one great fact that God is the author and finisher of all our being and happiness.
Today, students, parents, educators, employers, and government are changing the educational system from what it used to be, they are taking advantage of information technology, developing business – education partnerships or programs and using value-based performance objectives and measures in order to have a better educated and happier workforce. But are they succeeding?
TYPES OF SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
There is a lot of truth in the saying that education is not about schooling alone. And believe it or not, schooling which we mistakenly call education in our country is nightmarish to the average Nigeria child. As a matter of fact, the schooling types we now have can be classified as:
- a) Buckingham Palace (Top grade private schools)
- b) I “Pass my Neighbor” (Average grade private and public schools)
- c) Boko Haram (Low grade private and public schools)
All the same, education remains the best option for empowering not only children but adults alike for contributing to the social, economic and political fabric of the society. Although parents are aware of the importance of education and are desirous to give their children the best, many of them are unfortunately uninformed about the best way to achieve their hearts desires. The inability of staff in teaching and students in applying appropriate teaching techniques have also led to repeated failures in both internal and external examinations causing frustration and disappointment to students and their parents.
We educators today must, therefore, come to terms with the realities of our schools and the info-tech age. The methods used in the past to educate us are in the main not relevant to our children. There are too many distractions calling for their attention within the limited time available for studies. Unfortunately, many students are often mistakenly labeled as lazy or lacking in concentration! But by the time you take out school hours, class assignments, home chores, family socials and commitments, PREMIER / CHAMPIONS LEAGUES, FACEBOOK/TWITTERS, IPOD/IPAD, BIG BROTHER AFRICA, NAIJA SINGS, NIGERIAN/AMERICAN IDOLS, X-FACTOR, BACHELORETTE, hand-held phones and web roaming one is left to ponder when these children can read seriously or ever take their studies seriously! Compare these to their parents who probability had only BONANZA, VILLAGE HEADMASTER AND IICC V RANGERS FOOTBALL MATCHES as “distracters”.
Unfortunately, many parents are under the illusion that sending children to boarding houses will limit students’ propensities for some of these time- eaters. What they seem to forget is that those dedicated teachers and boarding housemasters of old have faded away and only a few of those left are comparable to when they were in school. These days we have those who want to be bribed by parents for “taking care of their children” or “for organizing extra classes” for them.
RELEVANCE OF EDUPEDIA
So what needs to be done? This is where EDUPEDIA, its Lagos Books Club Library and its series of books under EDUGUIDE come in. For almost 25 yrs those of us in Edupedia have actively promoted regular schooling and emphasized remedial education for thousands of secondary school students through our MASON COLLEGE and PASS TUTORIAL COLLEGE Festac, Lagos. Along the line, we also got involved in “training the trainers” seminars and conferences. We have not interacted with students in private schools only but have also been appointed to serve on rescue teams of public secondary schools. In the same vein, we served on the Education Foundation Board of 17 public primary schools in ONIGBONGBO LCDA OF LAGOS and have conducted Jamb clinics for thousands in the Amuwo Odofin LGA. We have also been guest speakers at the valedictory ceremonies of schools such as LIGHTHOUSE SECONDARY SCHOOL IKORODU. We have been praised for our qualitative contribution to students’ education and have made our impact felt wherever we were invited.
As far back as 2006 we also reviewed the state of things in public schools in Nigeria generally and sent a detailed write up on what needed to be done to the then Honorable Minister of Education Mrs. Ezekwesili. She replied almost immediately thanking and promising to get us more involved in future. But she had to return shortly after to the World Bank. We also sent the same write-up to the two houses of the national assembly and all education parastatals attached to the FMOE. Same to MOEs for each state through their liaison offices in Abuja.
But if we had read books such as these in our secondary school days we would probably have graduated with top honors all the way to the University. Then, life was less complicated and distractions were few compared to what students face today. By the time we were in university we had been preloaded with some of the skills you are about to read in these books. But if the same programs are to be used to promote life skills to students today they would see them as through a glass darkly.
After University and while taking professional examinations from Nigeria and England we were lucky to come across a few teachers who opened our eyes about studying and taking examinations. But it was when we opened our tutorial and regular schools that the need and contents for these books started gathering steam from day-to-day problems we had to take care of over the 25 years.
In addition to borrowing, buying these books or inviting us to conduct related clinics and seminars, please feel free to invite us as guests or motivational speakers to your students, staff, and parents on these topics or any other. We might even be able to suggest other topics not covered above. We shall be willing to cover your special events including valedictories, parents’ open days, inter-house sports days, students’ clubs and societies’ days, prefects’ boot camps or installation ceremonies.
Our conclusion is that many schools need to reorder their timetables to conform to the National Education Policy’s specifications on Educational Support Services. These sections should be looked at closely and activated as we have done. Each school should consider specific programs to cover Academic, Co-curricula and Remedial aspects of education for their studies.
|ATTENTION: 2017 Batch ‘A’ Prospective Corps Members
NYSC online registration for 2017 batch ‘A’ will start on Monday 17th April to Thursday 4th May 2017.
In one of our epistolary exchanges in the late 1970’s, Moyo Ogundipe explained why he had decided to quit a high-profile advertising job some had thought would be his ultimate answer to the challenge he had always craved. But that expectation fell flat after the first two weeks! Tired of the world of sound bites and pretty phrasing, of celebrated clichés and tendentious imaging, Ogundipe began to yearn for new frontiers where words and images roam and range, unencumbered by hackneyed lingo and special interest.
I was hardly surprised at his dissatisfaction with any preoccupation that would turn him into a ‘desk artist’. For Moyo Ogundipe has always been an ‘artist on the go’: restless, mercurial, dynamic, but also deep and rooted, playful and utterly serious, sometimes comically transparent, sometimes intimidatingly opaque. In whatever mood his Muse places him, in whatever medium he chooses for his expression, Ogundipe remains the quintessential myth-maker and poet, one who sees Word and Image in verbal and visual terms, and the space between. His words on the open page are as protean and seamlessly suggestive as his strokes on the canvas. His ‘pictures’ are visual proverbs with a sinuous lyricism and inescapable musicality. To merely see an Ogundipe painting is to do it an egregious disservice; you have to hear it as well. Then think it as you feel your way around it.
Ogundipe’s lifelong fascination with the word and the image began a long time ago. When I arrived for the Higher School Certificate course at the famous Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, in January 1967, one of my first objects of curiosity was the school magazine. (My abiding interest in such publications began at Amoye Grammar School, Ikere, where I had been editor-in-chief for the school magazine). I was impressed but not surprised at the quality and diversity of the contents of Christ’s School’s magazine, considering the high status of the school and the caliber of its students. What kept me completely engaged were the illustrations and cartoons by a young artist who signed his name as “Lancey M”. Page after page, these drawings served as visual reinforcements for the written texts, or curious representations of the young artist’s own unusual imagination. Almost instinctively, I knew this artist and I would soon find areas of collaboration and engagement, but I was not sure how exactly it was going to be.
But Fate has its own drama, complete with baffling plots and teasing serendipity. A few days later, I found that the person sitting next to me in Mr. S.A. Oloketuyi’s literature class was none other than the famous “Lancey M!” Thus began what has now turned out to be a lifelong personal and professional relationship. I soon found out that the artist whose ‘hands’ I had seen in the school magazine was also a budding poet with a deep and passionate interest in poetry and drama. We traded enthusiastic ‘gists’ about Shakespeare and Soyinka, Okigbo and Wordsworth, John Pepper Clark and John Keats. Even at this early stage, I discovered that Ogundipe adored Soyinka’s poetry, but was absolutely dazzled by Okigbo’s hypnotic lyricism. This lyricism, this running fusion of myth and matter, music and magic, became the hallmarks of Ogundipe’s poetry and, later, his works as a visual artist.
Soon, our classroom chattering blossomed into a practical demonstration. With the encouragement of the school principal, Chief R.A. Ogunlade, we revived Agidimo, the school’s occasional magazine, with me as editor-in-chief and Ogundipe in charge of art and design. A drawing of Agidimo, the rhinoceros insect (namesake with the hill on which Christ’s School is sited), superbly done by Ogundipe, occupied the masthead of the magazine, providing an irresistible visual appeal. Buoyed by this impressively artistic cover and its insightful and lively contents, Agidimo caught the fancy of the characteristically critical Christ’s School readers and became the toast of the entire community.
Ogundipe’sartisticc talents took him straight to another stage, literally speaking. In 1968, he and I were involved in two major dramatic events. The first was the annual inter-house drama festival, a keenly contested and robustly inspiring competition for which Christ’s School was justifiably famous – and respected. With enthusiastic input from gifted members of our house, Dallimore House, I composed the two plays (one in English, the other in Yoruba), but it was in the English play that Ogundipe played a major role as Heir of a powerful but embattled Emperor (played by me). The same year, with the active support of the Principal and under the able and disciplined directorship of Mr. V.A. Daramola, the school’s Drama Group produced This Is Our Chance, undoubtedly the most frequently performed play by James Ene Henshaw, Nigeria’s late doctor-playwright. Again, Ogundipe played the role of Prince (while I played the role of King Damba). For many nights, this play set the stage of the school quadrangle aglow, and its success was so rapturous that the Principal encouraged the group to take it to neighboring schools.
Without doubt, Christ’s School brought out the growing essence of Ogundipe the poet, the journalist, and the actor, but it was in his capacity as a maverick artist that he made his name. Rebellious, sometimes mischievous, and suspicious of authority, Ogundipe was neither a law-breaker nor a passive genuflector at the altar of what he considered intemperate commandments. His love for freedom was passionate and intense. His impulse was ineluctably democratic, even demotic. Junior students threatened by campus bullies came under his wings, as did free rangers and would-be artists in need of a kind mentor. His bedside in Dallimore House was always thronged by a motley gathering of pilgrims from other houses, while his easy-going ways made him one of the most popular students on Agidimo Hill. Wherever he went on campus, a chorus of “Lancey M” from passers-by sweetened his passage. Even the birds in campus trees seemed to recognize the name.
Christ’s School had its own community of artists: talented, focused, proud, keenly aware of their special gifts, sometimes posing as the chosen tribe of the Muse. Under the tutelage of V.A. Daramola, a devoted teacher and art educator, a generation of future Nigerian artists and allied professionals fledged and soared: Macaulay Iyayi, Morakinyo Olugboji, Sesan Ogunro, Susan Ilugbusi, Funmilola Olorunnisola, Iyabo Oguntusa, Femi Mosuro… (To this list must be added the likes of Ben Tomoloju, one of the most richly talented artists and cultural impresarios in Nigeria today, who was many years Ogundipe’s junior). The incubating chamber and cluttered workshop was the Art Room, strategically sited on the upper floor of a tower-like structure which loomed like the lighthouse over the school quadrangle and the rest of the campus. What moments of admiration and envy for the rest of us as we watched the young artists going up and down the stairs that led to this tower, spattered with paint, their brushes held aloft like rainbow spears! This was Moyo’s inaugural professional tribe, the first appreciators of his then precocious output. But the wider Christ’s School community sometimes had a glimpse of the artist at work as Mr Daramola stood with visible pride by his protégé and his prodigious explorations on the canvas. It surprised no one when Ogundipe emerged from the Higher School Certificate exam as one of the best Fine Arts candidates in West Africa in 1968 and was instantly snatched for the B.A by the then University of Ife. Thereafter, Ogundipe’s canvas became wider, his brush more adventurous, his insight more profound. Thereafter, he became an artist of the world…
*When Ogundipe left for graduate studies in the United States about a decade and half ago, many were afraid that this highly gifted artist might become a victim of the “immigrant disease”, that terrible affliction of the artist torn from his/her roots, now surrounded by the sights and overwhelmed by the sounds of another land. Would the deeply indigenous sound fade into a mongrel echo? Would erstwhile sharp and penetrating sights blunder into visual blurs? Would the pulsating hyperbole of the native idiom attenuate into a half-remembered hint? Just how would this artist survive the tempting, sometimes lucrative hype of the American system without losing his way in its “post-modernist, post-structuralist, post-hermeneutic, post-representational, post-industrial, post. . post. . “ maze and its literal, frequently modish presumptiveness? How would he draw from the astounding richness of the American world without losing his African soul in the process?
Ogundipe’s prolific output in the past two decades has given the lie these fears. Home is in the heart, Ogundipe often philosophizes during some of our many informal brainstorming sessions and reminiscences; everywhere you go, it never leaves its place in your chest. Every land has its song, but Humanity has a large choir. When the snail goes on a journey, it never leaves its home behind. And so Ogundipe has taken full advantage of the vast American space, tapped into its infinite possibilities. The result is an outpouring of an artistic genius that has been struggling for an outlet for many years and was happy to get one at last. The Agidimo Muse is on the ascent. . . .
That home that travels so ineluctantly in Ogundipe’s ‘heart’ frequently finds expression even in the strangest space. It is a home that is telluric in its tenacity, bristling with sound and silence, sign and sense, the ludicrous and the sublime, the apparently simple and the hermeneutically complex. It is an essentially plural home, whose mathematics works through the maxim of this plus that, whose matrix rests on the principle of rational inclusiveness. It is a complexly polyphonic, polyvalent, and polydimensional home which locates the specific in the general, the general in the specific. A home that is self-assured and tolerant, accommodating without losing the faculty of rational discrimination. That home derives from the Yoruba worldview which waters the very root of Ogundipe’s creative tree, bestowing the flair and freshness that looks so native to his art.
A sensitive apprehension of that worldview is necessary for an adequate appreciation of the predominance of what I call the forest idiom in Ogundipe’s works. Like a typical Yoruba forest, his canvas is thronged, haunting, and quick with surprises. The soil is moist with fecundity; undergrowths are thick with mystery; ropy climbers swing and interlock in every direction; the canopy lends a spell of brooding shadows. There are unmistakable hints and echoes here of Fagunwa, Tutuola, and Soyinka (especially the Soyinka of A Dance of the Forests and Forest of a Thousand Daemons). For Ogundipe, this wild and wondrous site, this intimidatingly promiscuous space, is the theater for the real drama of existence, or oftentimes an alternative stage for the marvelously impossible. For in Yoruba belief, the forest is not simply the opposite of the cultivated city. In many ways, both sites are complementary and mutually reinforcing. The forest is the abode of innumerable spirits, some benign and benevolent, others dangerous and forbiddingly mean. It is also the home of the dead and/or the living-dead whose communion with the world of the living – and the unborn – is considered vital for the sustenance and survival of all states and spheres of existence. Its essence is as plural as the leaves on the trees, its power as potent as the vital forces that populate its zone.
Intimations of the forest breathe through Ogundipe’s canvas – in the ubiquitous green, its dense and crowded ambiance, and the lines which criss-cross the space like traveling branches. But this forest is hardly ever a region of unrelieved darkness and monochromatic gloom. A playful yellow often lets in the sun, and there are times when a brown or bright orange lends the hint of the dry season. Dappled in their detail, arrestingly colorful, Ogundipe’s paintings remind us so forcibly of Ankara, that textile brand so beloved to people of West Africa. Jungle of Magical Feats vibrates with forest echoes, while in Emperor Sundiata’s Daughter (a painting whose subject possesses the stunning gaze and immortal poise of an African Mona Lisa), the background is lush like Ijesa-Isu forest in the rainy season.
Water and the water motif also capture our attention in these paintings. Here Ogundipe’s imagination waxes solidly liquid, and his images swim in a sweet, seductive blue. Mermaids are the predominant denizens of this zone (Queendom of Mermaids, The Mermaid and the Piscean Princess etc). Here Ogundipe has invited us to the dance of deities: Olokun, Yemoja, Osun, Oya, all staple goddesses, invariably come to mind as we watch the Mermaid swing and splash across the canvas. There is a mythical boldness in these double-bodied beings that compels comparison with their pastoral counterparts in Three Negritude Princesses, the sassy debutantes in Three Lagos Socialites, and the regal, statuesque figure in Emperor Sundiata’s Daughter. From mermaid to madam, women throng Ogundipe’s canvas whether in their Negritude nudity or bejeweled modern mode. Critical spectators might see these women and marvel at their mythic grandeur while wondering why the woman that ‘draws the water and cooks the food’ never makes it to the artist’s canvas. They might be anxious to know why the ‘hue and cry’ of a harsh world hardly troubles the music of Ogundipe’s visual symphony.
Such spectators would be asking questions that are so fundamental to Ogundipe’s philosophy and practice of art. For his journey in these works is an essentially interior one, a journey into that world of endless transformations and magical mutations in which centaurs serenade the universe with saxophones, and the fumes from a smoking pipe morph into raging cobras. Perhaps these works are conceived as an imaginative escape from the ugliness of the world we know, a psychic journey into the universe of root and essence, into an African past whose value has been violated by reckless modernity, a quest for a vision that challenges contemporary blindnesses as a way of confronting them.
Indigenous laakaye, global flair, constant wrestling with memory and remembrance, lyrical celebration of nature and life; a bardic brush, a canvas bristling with incantations, a forest of endless music and marvel . . . these are some of the gifts presented here from the “sacred and secret territories of [Ogundipe’s] soul”. They are his ultimate testament, the unfolding narrative of his canvas of tales. From Agidimo’s budding artist to a global master; from Christ’s School’s quadrangle platform to the world stage, from “Lancey M” to “Moyo Ogundipe”. . . the journey has been long, frequently rough, colorfully impressive – but not yet complete. The works on offer here are from Ogundipe’s forest of a thousand wonders, his “painted harmonies” (to borrow Okigbo’s memorable phrase). They are music in motion, songs which thresh the color of fertile dreams.
Originally published at Publicschooloptions.org
Teaching is often described as a calling. For me, I would say this description is accurate because, aside from that brief time in early elementary school when my career goal was to become Batman, teaching has always been the only career choice for me. Although I always knew that I would be a teacher when I grew up, a couple of decades ago, the idea of being a teacher for a virtual school would have sounded as plausible as my becoming the Caped Crusader.
I first learned of online schooling in 2008 when I returned to Ohio following teaching in a brick-and-mortar setting for three years in Nevada. The idea of being a teacher in an online environment was enticing, especially as I recalled what I had learned about effective teaching in my college teacher preparation program. Online schooling seemed to make many teaching essentials logistically possible, something that I could not necessarily say was true of my brick-and-mortar environment. Over the past four years as a teacher in an online school, I can speak firsthand of its benefits. To me, these include the following:
Teaching in an online environment allows me to meet my students where they are academically. Instead of having a group of thirty students for a set amount of time, I am able to tailor my instruction to meet the needs of the students I teach. I am afforded the opportunity to work one-on-one or in small groups with students, and I can develop more challenging lessons for those students who are advanced.
Attentiveness to Diverse Learning Styles
Within my lessons, I am able to incorporate music, video clips, cooperative groupings, and additional resources like outlines and graphic organizers. This allows the student to use those resources that best fit how he or she learns and remembers the material. The distinction here is that instead of bringing the students to the lesson, I am now bringing the lesson to the students.
In college, the emphasis was on helping students develop 21st century skills. This is one of the benefits of online school that I think is often overlooked—the opportunity for students to develop their technological skills. By using the computer and various software programs, students are developing these technical skills simultaneous with learning the course content.
Using data to drive instruction has been seen as essential, whether in the state Department of Education rankings for schools or in an individual classroom with teachers using formative assessment techniques. I know, as a former brick-and-mortar teacher, that collecting this data and then analyzing it was time-consuming and, by the end of the school day, difficult. Online schooling has much of this data collected and organized for the teacher, with the teacher’s being able to run reports for immediate access to data to help form their instruction.
Parents as Partners
Online teaching has also enabled me to become closer with the parents of the students I teach. In my brick-and-mortar environment, conferences could happen before or after school. The frequency of conferences was also limited. In an online environment, I can have a conference with a parent much more frequently. In education, I think sometimes the relationship between teachers and parents is not leveraged as it should be. I have learned so much about my students simply by talking to their parents.
I have greatly enjoyed teaching in an online environment and have recognized its benefits. I have witnessed firsthand how it has been an environment in which many students have flourished. From time to time, I still encounter some resistance to this learning model and hear some misconceptions about virtual school. I have learned that, just like Batman, we can be misunderstood. However, all teachers are deserving of respect because, at the end of the day, we all enter this profession to make a difference and to move our students forward.
Although we might not have the Bat Signal or drive an awesome car, we are often fighting those social villains—poverty, disenfranchisement, funding shortages—to make this monumental goal a reality. For some students, teachers are real-life superheroes. As teachers, we need to remember this. Student success needs to be our focus. We need to be mindful that, after all, Batman and Robin didn’t bicker over who got to drive the Batmobile.
Curiosity improves learning and memory for things we are not even interested in.
It’s no surprise that when we are curious about something, it makes it easier to learn. But cutting-edge research published in the academic journal Neuron (link is external) provides startling evidence for how a curious state of mind improves learning and memory for things we are not even interested in.
Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
While Einstein probably suffered from modesty in addition to curiosity, it is interesting to note that he attributes his intelligence and success to having a curious mind.
For the study, participants were given a series of trivia questions. The researchers asked the participants to rate their level of curiosity to learn the answers for each question. They were then presented with the trivia. After each question, there was a 14-second delay before the answer was given. During that time, the researchers flashed a picture of a neutral, unrelated face.
Once the trivia session was complete, the participants were given a surprise memory recognition test based on the faces the participants saw during the trivia. Additionally, during the study, researchers scanned the participants’ brain activity with an FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).
Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat. It Improved His Memory
The study reveals several interesting findings of what happens to the brain when it is piqued with curiosity.
We already know that when we are curious about a topic, it is easier to learn. And, as expected, the study proves that when participants were highly curious to find the answer to the trivia question, they were better at learning that information. But what the researchers really cared about was to see how the participants did on the face recognition test when they were highly curious.
This is the interesting bit. The researchers found that when participants’ curiosity was aroused by wanting to know a certain trivia question, they were better at learning entirely unrelated information, which was the face recognition, even though they were not curious about that information. In both the immediate and the one-day-delayed memory tests, the participants showed improved memory for the unrelated material they encountered during states of high curiosity.
“Curiosity may put the brain in a state that allows it to learn and retain any kind of information, like a vortex that sucks in what you are motivated to learn, and also everything around it,” says Dr. Matthias Gruber, lead author of the study.
How Intrinsic Motivation Affects Learning
So how does this work? The FMRI data reveals the underlying mechanisms that are activated when curiosity is engaged. The study provides insight into the link between curiosity and how intrinsic motivation affects memory.
Curiosity is a form of intrinsic motivation. When you are curious to learn a topic you are motivated to learn for its own sake. Surprisingly, little is known about the mechanisms behind how intrinsic motivational states affect learning. This is one of the reasons why this recent study is so important. It gives us insight into what happens in our brain when we become curious.
The investigators found that when curiosity is stimulated, there is increased activity in the reward center of the brain. This is very interesting considering that normally extrinsic motivation is thought of as recruiting the brain’s reward circuits. Extrinsic motivation is engaging in a behavior because your motivation is an external reward. Yet the research revealed an interesting neural connection between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
“Intrinsic motivation actually recruits the very same brain areas that are heavily involved in tangible, extrinsic motivation,” Dr. Gruber explains.
Additionally, researchers found an interesting link between curiosity and activity in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is not the part of your brain that looks like a hippo. Actually, it is the part of your brain that looks like a seahorse, from the Greek hippos for “horse,” and kampos for “sea monster.” The hippocampus is the area of the brain that is important for forming new memories.
The scientists found that there was increased activity in the hippocampus during the curiosity motivated learning. They also found that when curiosity learning was engaged there was increased interactions between the hippocampus and the reward circuit.
“Curiosity recruits the reward system,” explains Dr. Charan Ranganath, principal investigator of the study “and interactions between the reward system and the hippocampus seem to put the brain in a state in which you are more likely to learn and retain information, even if that information is not of particular interest or importance.”
The findings demonstrate just how powerful a curious state of mind can be for learning information that you do not find interesting.
This is particularly important for learning how to help individuals retain boring information either in the classroom or workplace. To facilitate learning, often we try to make the material interesting. This is a fine strategy if the material can be made interesting. Remember the pictures of neutral faces were pretty boring content.
But the important implications of this study is that this is not the only way. The findings show that another strategy you have at your disposal is to take less interesting material and attach it to interesting content to reap the carry over effects of curiosity. This strategy focuses less on making the material interesting and more on creating an environment of curiosity into which the material can be inserted.
In this way, the secret to making boring work memorable is to harness the students’ and workers’ curiosity about something they are already motivated to learn.
Adoree Durayappah-Harrison, M.Div., M.A.P.P., M.B.A., is a Texas born writer now based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Learn more at AdoreeDurayappah.com.
1. The potential to transform lives – ask any teacher who has helped a student in any number of ways, from academic to welfare and emotional learning, and they will tell you that life is not only good, but amazing.
2. It gives you the chance to be continuously creative – of course there are increasing levels of accountability in teaching, but teachers are allowed to be creative in every lesson. Even in observations, in fact most of all in observations, lessons are encouraged to be creative and interesting to engage the students. Teachers have so many opportunities to try new ideas, and indulge in iterative process to ensure the optimum learning environment is created.
3. It offers you a chance to continuously get better – teachers are not only encouraged to seek continuous professional development, but can ask for observation on a regular basis, to provide opportunities to grow and learn from masters or more experienced practitioners. In so few professions is there such support, and considering that as a minimum, contracts are for a year, teachers have so much time to demonstrate improvement. A growth mindset is part of the foundation of teaching.
4. It is a grounding, humbling profession – the amount of work teachers do compared to remuneration is shockingly disproportionate, in 2 senses: firstly, in terms of how many paid vs non paid hours of work they receive, and secondly, in relation to other similarly creative and important (and not so important) vocations in our society. But that is not why teachers teach. So few teachers go into the vocation for the salary – it’s a calling before anything else.
5. There is always satisfaction somewhere – teaching is a calling, and no one enters it without his or her inner voice telling him or her that. Of course there are always some imposters, but the massive majority have their hearts in the right place. How cool is that for the students?
Having said that, teaching can be and is incredibly demanding, and often we can lose sight of that calling, bogged down in aspects of the profession that don’t seem to be connected to it. But on closer inspection, most of the extra demands are actually central to the job itself: explaining to parents where you are coming from; being observed; collaborating with others; marking.
Take this last aspect, crucial to understanding whether students are learning what you believe you are teaching. Yes, it is very time consuming, but perhaps one of the most important and fundamental weapons in a teacher’s arsenal; any good school will understand this and the other cited demands, and create an environment where they become part of directed time.
It is when these aspects are not acknowledged in directed time that the conditions for burnout are rife.
6. It’s a chance to truly to lead the world in the 21st century – introducing students to new technologies and ways of presenting, curating, and collaborating with others with what they know is truly exciting and truly invigorating. Modern teachers are actually pioneering pedagogy, and can and will be able to hold their heads up high in the future when we look back and see how learning in this day and age took a radical but enormously beneficial turn for the better.
Engaging students in greater collaboration, and instilling initiative in curation and the promotion of information leads to truly independent learning, and setting up such learning environments is an opportunity that all teachers now have before them. There are few more gratifying feelings that being needed.
7. The children.
By Paul Moss
The registered active student population of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, has hit 254,000, its vice- chancellor, Abdalla Adamu, disclosed.
Mr. Adamu told the Economic Confidential magazine in Abuja that the number is distributed across the 77 study centres scattered all over the country touching all the states, local government areas and the six geopolitical zones.
“I can confidently confirm to you that the total registered active student population is now 254,000 scattered across the 77 study centres in the country”, Mr. Adamu said.
The NOUN boss also said that having the 77 study centres means that some states have more than one or two study centres depending on demand, adding that Abuja has about 8 centres.
He further stated that “some organisations come to us and ask for study centres and we call them specialised centres, notably Police, Immigration and the Nigerian Prison Service, while some states have community study centres.
He, however, noted that at the inception of the Open University, there were misgivings and mistrust about the institution, as many people did not look at it as credible and worthy. He said the pressure of students getting admission to conventional universities was increasing by the day as almost one million students want to gain admission into universities yearly through Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
He emphasised that the influx has become so enormous that the state study centres can no more cope with the population, which gave rise to requests for community study centres by some states and these requests were mostly from the southern parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the university authority has sacked the two companies manning the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and replaced them with an in-house team of IT experts, thereby saving the institution about 80 per cent revenue that had earlier been lost to NOUN.
“Well as for how much I have saved for doing away with consultants, I would not tell you that because that is our secret. When I took over, I saw that the entire Information Technology infrastructure were outsourced to two companies. One was called Cyberspace and the other called Emerging Platforms.”
“They were the ones running the entire system. As an ICT person myself because I spent about 15 years teaching System Analysis at Masters Degree level in Bayero University, Kano. Now how can I have a department of Computer Science, and the Dean of that department was the immediate Vice-President of Nigerian Computer Society, a professor of Robotics and other talents in ICT in these university, and yet still outsource all these to another agency, I said no it cannot happen!
“So the first thing I did was to look at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between us and the two organisations. Of course they paid us the usual courtesy call so that they can remain relevant. We sat down and looked at the MOU and found out that in one of them the MOU stipulates 70 per cent profit and the other 85 percent of the revenue as profit because they provide all the skills, technology including examinations portal. I said this is not acceptable”.
“So we assembled a team and asked ourselves whether we can do this. So they said they can. Then I said go and design it and we decided to shut out the two companies and all kinds of legal battles started, stating that they have signed the contract for five years and cannot be terminated”.
“I told them that within the MOU we can give each other one month notice to terminate such contracts and so I have the powers to do so. You can imagine when the students pay this money, one company gets 70 percent of such payments and the other gets 85 percent! I said that has stopped, and any money coming to us would now be ours henceforth”.
He stressed that the revenue flow was able to provide needs of the study centres and train them at conferences to increase their efficiency, adding that the money is also used in paying for those writing course materials for the university.
We are contented because we do not request government to provide such monies, the professor said.
He said because of funds “being generated through the payment of tuition by students, the institution is now able to push out quality materials for students and also planning to shoot this into tablets, so that we have what we call “I-NOUN”.
“So this I-NOUN will be a complete package of courses. So we cut out these outsources and created our own services and it is working. The key to sustainability in any Open Distance Learning (ODL) is independence.
Charles Moore reviews The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth (Icon Books)
An alternative title for this sparkling book, which would fit with its occasionally over-jocular tone, would be Locution. Locution. Locution. Such a title is an example of epizeuxis, I can now, thanks to this slim volume, inform you.
All of us use rhetoric, but few of us understand what it is we are doing, and therefore we don’t do it well. The only famous person in modern British public life who grasps what are called “the figures of rhetoric” is the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He knows their mainly Greek terms, and he knows how to deploy them. There is a strong argument for saying that it is his mastery of the subject that has got him to the top.
The author, Mark Forsyth, starts with the assertion that rhetoric can be learnt by almost anybody. But our culture is afflicted by the false concept of “genius” and by the Romantic movement’s idea that truth resides in nature: “They [the Romantics] wanted to be natural, and the figures of rhetoric are not natural.” He denies that Shakespeare was a genius: he was just a hard-working fellow who learnt Latin composition, and the figures of rhetoric, at his grammar school. (That is why grammar schools were so called, one should add, and why they were so good.) This taught him how to write. When he started to write plays, he was not all that brilliant at first, but he stuck at it, until practice made him almost literally perfect.
Another person who was jolly good at it was St Paul. His epistles contains a classic epistrophe: “When I was a child … I thought as a child.” The same passage also contains a tricolon (“faith, hope and charity, these three”).
Forsyth argues that the figures of rhetoric are like recipes for a cook. No one would cook blindfold, yet that is how most of us write and speak, throwing in the ingredients without knowing what they are and what they can do. So this is a “how to” book. Indeed, its subtitle is “How to Turn the Perfect Phrase”. This is, as the meerkats and the author say, “simples” (which is an example of enallage, a deliberate grammatical mistake). Study these 39 short chapters, 38 of which are named after different figures of rhetoric, and you can be up there with the all-time greats, Forsyth claims.
Even if this is a false promise, the book offers many pleasures. Sometimes I laughed out loud at the examples chosen. “Transferred epithets” are so common that we hardly think about them: “disabled toilet”, for instance – though one does all too often meet a public lavatory which is, itself, disabled. And only PG Wodehouse could have taken the epithet “astonished” and transferred it to the word “toast”.
Rosamond Lehmann said of Ian Fleming: “The trouble with Ian is that he gets off with women because he can’t get on with them.” That is a syllepsis. I also learnt from this book that bdelygmia, which sounds like some fell venereal disease, is the correct rhetorical term for a heap of insults.
Other devices are seriously deep and beautiful. Take paradox. God’s remark that “Before Abraham was, I am” is the ultimate paradox, a clash not only of apparent sense but of tenses.
It is interesting that some figures come more readily to human speech than others. All of us, particularly politicians, love anaphora, which means starting each sentence with the same words. Once you get going, you find it difficult to stop, especially if you are at the podium or the dispatch box: “We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds.” Churchill did 11 of these in a row.
Zeugma, on the other hand, is tricky. It is when the verb governs more than one thing in the sentence e.g. “Dick likes whisky, Dick vodka, Harry crack cocaine.” In English, the device does not come naturally. Congreve originally wrote: “Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turned, / Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned.” That is a zeugma. But because it is unnatural to say, the phrase is altered in common memory to: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’
Behind all these rules, and the light-hearted way they are set out, lies the author’s belief that rhetoric is little more than fun. He ends his last chapter – which, with rhetorical correctness, he calls his peroration – with the following: “For though we have nothing to say, we can at least say it well.”
If he is serious in saying this, he is mistaken. Actually, I suspect he is not serious, and this is just another figure of rhetoric (whose Greek name he does not disclose) designed to win us over.
I have real difficulty with Alexander Pope’s famous lines “True wit is nature to advantage dress’d,/ What oft was thought, but ne’er so well expressed.” What, exactly, is a thought without the words? How is the expression to be distinguished absolutely from the content? Please give me an example. The analogy with nature being dressed to advantage does not work, because here we are talking about language, which has no “natural” state.
Still, we are entering into philosophical realms here, and Mark Forsyth is wise to steer clear of them. It would spoil the cheerful cynicism of his tone. His essential message is “Ask not what you can do for your language, but what your language can do for you.” (Which is an example of chiasmus.)
• Buy Mark Forsyth’s Elements of Eloquence at Telegraph Bookshop
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has dismissed an HIV cure claim by Professor Maduike Ezeibe, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Virology at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Abia State.
In a statement entitled “Re: Nigerian scientist conquers HIV/AIDS”, Director General of the Agency, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said there was no basis for a claim to the cure of AIDS as described in the study presented by Ezeibe.
Media reports had quoted Ezeibe as saying that the drug, produced with “Aluminium Magnesium Silicate” was tested on 10 persons living with HIV. It was also reported that a clinical outcome of an ability to “reach all cells” and making HIV “a conquered organism”.
Aliyu said: “The claim for a HIV/AIDS cure is not new. It is also not new to find a scientist using ambiguous scientific methods and practices to buttress this claim, and to find obscure journals increasingly prepared to publish these claims.”
Examining the facts, The NACA DG who said the study quoted by Ezeibe did not follow standard ethical protocols for clinical trials, also noted that there was no evidence from the publication that the authors obtained ethical clearance from an appropriate body in Nigeria to conduct this study, and only ambiguous evidence that informed consent was sought from the evidently vulnerable patients.
“We are concerned that the publicity given to these claims will stop patients with HIV from taking life-saving antiretrovirals and give them false hope of a cure. It will be a great disservice to this vulnerable group of patients for the media to disseminate these claims in the absence of sound scientific evidence. “There are long established, tried and tested routes for the discovery, development and validation of modern medicines before they can be registered and used for treatment in humans and animals.
He urged all academics to follow legal and scientifically acceptable methods in conducting their research and to avoid making premature claims that are capable of derailing the huge progress made in the last two decades on the war against HIV/AIDS.
Aliyu also urged media houses in Nigeria to seek comments from the leadership of the relevant government parastatals and professional bodies when it receives new research findings related to our areas of responsibility.
“We call on all patients living with HIV that are currently taking their medications to continue to do so and to see their doctors if they have any concern. The NACA helpline (6222) is available on working days from 8am-8pm for members of the public seeking more information on HIV disease,” he affirmed.
5 Things Students Love to Hear Teachers Say
1. “You’ve shown great improvement”
2. “I’m proud of you”
3. “You were one of my best students”-
4. “You have the ability and the potential”
5. “You can do it!”
3 Things Students Desire to Hear From Teachers
“Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.” – Urie Bronfenbrenner
1.”I believe in you.You are going to be successful someday”
2.“You have a purpose.I see it and feel it!”
3.”Question Me.Ask me how I am. Ask me what I need. Ask me my thoughts and feelings.”
Dr. Lori Desautels
Assistant Professor in the School of Education Marian University
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it is set to meet with heads of other public examination bodies to fine tune examination schedules in order to avoid infringement on its examinations.
The Head, Media and Information of the board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, gave the hint in a statement made available on Sunday in Lagos.
Benjamin stated that the board was determined to address “myriad of challenges confronting public examinations in the country’’.
He said that the board had yet to roll out its applications for 2017 UTME because it was working to improve on the conduct of its examination.
“You cannot do things the same way and expect different result.
“This year, we shall improve on a lot of things to get better results.
“However, we are mindful of the fact that there will be challenges accepting new directions of doing things by candidates.
“There will be improvement in our new payment platform, process of change of name; change of course; change of institution and others.
“This also applies to other difficulties that may arise in our attempt to improve on the entire process, which we have resolved to tackle.
“To make this feasible, the board had started working with other examination bodies to achieve a holistic result for the Nigerian child desirous of sound education,’’ Benjamin stated.
He stated that in view of the above, the board had slated a meeting with the Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, the Registrars of NECO and NABTEB, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 17.
The meeting is expected to come out with a suitable time table that will not infringe on other examinations.
According to him, the meeting is part of the final preparations to begin sale of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) application forms.
Benjamin stated that the board did not want candidates to be stranded during examination due to clashes in dates of their various external examinations.
He said during the meeting, there would be a harmonisation of calendar of sister examination bodies.
“We appeal to Nigerians to support our drive to ensure that the board’s matriculation examination meets international best practice,” Benjamin stated.