FOREST OF THOUSAND WONDERS (FOR MOYO OGUNDIPE 1948 – 2017) BY NIYI OSUNDARE

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.

Source: Forest Of Thousand Wonders (For Moyo Ogundipe 1948 – 2017) By Niyi Osundare | Sahara Reporters

STUDENT POPULATION IN NIGERIAN OPEN UNIVERSITY HITS 254,000!

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.

Source: Student population in Nigerian Open University hits 254,000 – Premium Times Nigeria

‘IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, AT LEAST SAY IT WELL’

'IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, AT LEAST SAY IT WELL’

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

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/10455908/If-you-have-nothing-to-say-at-least-say-it-well.html

THINGS STUDENTS LOVE TO HEAR TEACHERS SAY

THINGS STUDENTS LOVE TO HEAR TEACHERS SAY

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!”

Nancy Barile

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

JAMB MEETS OTHER BODIES TO FINE-TUNE EXAMINATION SCHEDULE 

BROKEN DREAMS...JAMB AND PROFESSOR DIBU AT WORK AGAIN!

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.

Source: JAMB meets other bodies to fine-tune examination schedule – Vanguard News

WRITING SCHOOL AND WAEC’S 5 PARAGRAPH ESSAY

 

FOR SALE : 250 CONTEXTUAL AND OBJECTIVE QUESTIONS ON SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER,OTHELLO AND LAST DAYS AT FORCADOS HIGH FOR 2016As you progress through school, you will be required to write essays. An essay is a written composition in which you express a certain idea and back it up with statements that support the idea. Most frequently, you will be required to write your essay in a five paragraph essay format.

As its name implies, a five paragraph essay consists of five paragraphs. However, the essay itself consists of three parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Introduction

The first paragraph of a five paragraph essay is the introduction. You should begin this paragraph with a statement that captures the reader’s interest so that the reader will want to continue to read your entire essay. Make your first sentence as interesting as possible. Follow with several sentences that clarify your opening statement. Conclude the paragraph with a thesis statement in which you present what you believe and intend to prove. A good thesis statement takes a stand and is very specific.

Body

The body of a five paragraph essay consists of three paragraphs. Each paragraph should be limited to one main idea that supports your thesis statement. The first paragraph of the body should contain your strongest argument in support of your thesis. Begin this paragraph by stating your idea. Then follow with two or three sentences containing supporting evidence or examples. Conclude this paragraph with a sentence that sums up what you discussed in the paragraph.

The second paragraph of the body should follow the same format as the first paragraph of the body. This paragraph should contain your second strongest argument in support of your thesis statement. The third paragraph of the body follows the same format and contains your third strongest argument. In addition to summing up what you have discussed in the paragraph, the last sentence should also indicate that the paragraph contains the final argument you are raising.

Conclusion

The fifth and final paragraph of the essay contains the conclusion. This concluding paragraph should repeat your thesis statement in slightly different words than used in your introductory paragraph. It should summarize the three arguments you presented in the body of your essay. Your final sentence should signal that your essay has come to an end. In essence, your concluding paragraph should make it clear to the reader that you believe you have proven what you set out to prove.

http://www.how-to-study.com/study-skills-articles/writing-a-five-paragraph-essay.asp

A SIMPLE GUIDE TO EXPOSITORY WRITING

WRITING BETTER WAEC/NECO ESSAYS...THIS IS HOW TO REVISE FOR THEM!

Expository writing informs or explains. For example, if you are writing to inform about the Empire State Building, you could write about where it is located, when it was built, how tall it is, and what can be seen from its observation deck. If you are writing to explain how to grow flowers, you could tell how to prepare the soil, when to plant the seeds, how often to water the flowers as they grow, and when to add fertilizer. You will need skill in expository writing when you write school reports and research papers.

Here are five steps to follow to produce effective expository writing.

Select a subject or idea about which you want to write.

The subject or idea you select is your topic. Sometimes the topic is assigned by your teacher. If you have to select your own topic, start by thinking about a general theme such as water. Then list some specific topics related to water. For example, you might list such topics as diving, swimming, life saving, scuba diving, or even water polo. Select the topic in which you have the most interest.

Determine your writing objective.

Decide whether you want to inform the reader about your topic or explain something about the topic. For example, for the topic of scuba diving, you might decide to inform the reader about how scuba diving got its name, when and where it began, why people scuba dive, and where some of the best places to scuba dive are located. Or, you might decide to explain how to scuba dive. You could write about the training a person would need, certification or license requirements, equipment needed, and the safety procedures to follow.

Gather the information needed to meet your objective.

Sources of information include: people such as your teachers and parents; newspapers and magazines; reference books such as encyclopedias, almanacs, and atlases; and the Internet. Write notes as you gather the information. Using index cards is a good way to do this.

Organize the information you obtain.

You can organize the information from your notes by creating an outline that shows the major ideas about your topic and the supporting details for each idea. Or, you can visually organize your information by using a graphic organizer.

Write your report.

Be sure to include all the information needed to meet your objective. Provide logical supporting facts, details, and examples as needed. Use your outline or graphic organizer to be certain that your writing follows a logical order. Provide smooth transitions so that the reader can easily follow what you are trying to say. End with a summary or conclusion that clearly meets your objective.

Following these five steps will help you whenever you do expository writing.

http://www.how-to-study.com/study-skills-articles/expository-writing.asp

ARITHMETIC-BASED GENERAL PAPER QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS,TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS

CONVERSION DATA NOT AVAILABLE AT BACK OF ANY EXERCISE BOOK!

Length

Standard measure

1 mile = 1760 yards = 5280 feet
1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches
1 rod = 5.5 yards = 16.5 feet
1 hand = 4 inches
1 span = 9 inches
1 light year = 5 878 500 000 000 miles

1 kilometres = 1000 metres
1 metre = 1000 millimetres
1 metre = 10 decimetres
1 decimetre = 10 centimetres
1 centimetre = 10 millimetres
1 light year = 9 465 000 000 000 000 metres

Surveyor’s measure

1 mile = 8 furlongs = 80 chains
1 furlong = 10 chains = 220 yards
1 chain = 4 rods = 22 yards = 100 links
1 link = 7.92 inches

Nautical measure

1 league = 3 nautical miles
1 nautical mile = 1.1508 statute miles
1 degree (@ equator) = 60 nautical miles
120 fathoms = 1 cable
1 fathom = 2 yards = 6 feet

Conversion factors

1 mile = 1.6093 kilometres : 1 kilometre = 0.62139 miles
1 yard = 0.9144 metres : 1 metre = 1.0936 yards
1 foot = 0.3048 metres : 1 metre = 3.2808 feet
1 inch = 25.4 millimetres : 1 millimetre = 0.03937 inches

Area

1 square mile = 640 acres
1 acre = 10 square chains
1 square chain = 16 square rods
1 square rod = 30.25 square yards
1 square yard = 9 square feet
1 square foot = 144 square inches
1 circular inch = 0.7854 square inches

1 square kilometre=100 hectares
1 hectare = 100 ares
1 are = 100 square metres
1 square metre = 100 square decimetres
1 square decimetre = 100 square centimetres
1 square centimetre = 100 square millimetres

Conversion factors

1 square mile = 2.5899 square kilometres : 1 square kilometre = 0.3861 square miles
1 acre = 0.4047 hectares : 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
1 square yard = 0.836 square metres : 1 square metre = 1.196 square yards
1 square foot = 0.0929 square metres : 1 square metre = 10.764 square feet
1 square inch = 645.2 square millimetres : 1 square millimetre = 0.00155 square inches

Volume

Standard measure

1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet
1 cubic foot = 1728 cubic inches
1 cord (wood) = 4 x 4 x 8 foot
1 perch (masonry) = 16.5 x 1.5 x 1 foot

Shipping measure

1 register ton = 100 cubic feet
40 cubic feet = 32.143 US bushels
40 cubic feet = 31.16 imperial bushels

Dry measure

1 US bushel = 1 winchester struck bushel
1 US bushel = 1.2445 cubic feet
1 US bushel = 4 pecks = 32 quarts
1 peck = 8 quarts = 16 pints
1 heaped bushel = 1.25 struck bushels
1 UK bushel = 8 imperial gallons

Liquid measure

1 US gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints
1 quart = 2 pints = 8 gills
1 UK gallon = 1.2009 US gallons

Old liquid measure

1 tun = 2 pipes = 3 puncheons
1 pipe = 1 butt = 2 hogsheads = 4 barrels
1 puncheon = 2 tierces = 84 gallons
1 tierce = 42 gallons
1 barrel = 31.5 gallons

Apothecaries fluid measure

1 US fluid ounce = 8 drachms
1 fluid drachm = 60 mimims
1 US fluid ounce = 1.805 cubic inches
1 UK fluid ounce = 1.732 cubic inches

Cubic measure
1 cubic metre = 1000 cubic decimetres
1 cubic metre = 1000000 cubic millimetres
1 cubic decimetre = 1000 cubic centimetres
1 cubic centimetre = 1000 cubic millimetres

Dry and liquid measure

1 hectolitre = 100 litres
1 litre = 10 decilitres
1 decilitre = 10 centiletres
1 centilitres = 10 millilitres
1 litre = 1 cubic decimetre
1000 litres = 1 cubic metre

Conversion factors

1 cubic yard = 0.7646 cubic metres : 1 cubic metre = 1.308 cubic yards
1 cubic foot = 0.02832 cubic metres : 1 cubic metre = 35.315 cubic feet
1 cubic inch = 16387.064 cubic millimetres : 1 cubic millimetre = 0.00006102 cubic inches
1 cubic foot = 28.137 litres : 1 litre = 0.0353 cubic feet
1 US gallon = 3.785 litres : 1 litre = 0.2642 US gallons
1 UK gallon = 4.5454 litres : 1 litre = 0.22 UK gallons

Velocity / Acceleration

1 mile/hour = 1.4666 feet/sec
1 foot/minute = 0.2 inches/second
1 knot = 1 nautical mile/hour
1 cycle/second = 1 hertz
1 metre/sec = 3.6 kilometres/hour
1 revolution/minute = 0.104 radians/second

(Acceleration) gravity = 9.81 metres/second²

Conversion factors

1 mile/hour = 1.609 kilometres/hour : 1 kilometres/hour = 0.62139 miles/hour
1 foot/second = 0.3048 metres/second : 1 metre/second = 3.2808 feet/second
1 knot = 1.852 kilometres/hour : 1 kilometre/hour = 0.5399 knots

Weight / Mass

Avoirdupois measure

1 gross ton = 1 long ton = 2240 pounds
1 net ton = 1 short ton = 2000 pounds
1 pound = 16 ounces = 7000 grains
1 ounce = 16 drachms = 437.5 grains

1 long ton = 20 hundredweight
1 hundredweight = 4 quarters = 112 pounds
1 quarter = 2 stone = 28 pounds
1 quintal = 100 pounds

Troy weight (measure of gold and silver)

1 pound = 12 ounces = 5760 grains
1 ounce = 20 pennyweights = 480 grains
1 pennyweight = 24 grains
1 carat (diamond) = 3.086 grains

Apothecaries weight

1 pound = 12 ounces = 5760 grains
1 ounce = 8 drachms = 480 grains
1 drachm = 3 scruples = 60 grains
1 scruple = 20 grains

Standard measure
1 tonne = 1 metric ton
1 tonne = 1000 kilograms
1 kilograms = 1000 grams

1 centigram = 10 milligrams
1 decigram = 10 centigrams
10 decigrams = 1 gram
10 grams = 1 dekagram
10 dekagrams = 1 hectogram
10 hectograms = 1 kilogram

Conversion factors

1 long ton = 1.016 tonnes : 1 tonne = 0.9842 tons (long)
1 short ton = 0.9071 tonnes : 1 tonne = 1.1024 tons (short)
1 pound = 0.4536 kilograms : 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds (avoirdupois)
1 grain = 0.0648 grams : 1 gram = 15.432 grains

1 grain (avoidupois) = 1 grain (troy) = 1 grain (apothecaries)

Pressure / Force

1 atmosphere = 14696 psi (pound/inch²)
1 psi = 144 pounds/square foot
1 psi = 2.042 inches Hg (mecury) @ 62° F
1 psi = 27.7 inches H2O (water) @ 62° F
megapascal = 1000 kilopascals
1 kilopascal = 1000 pascals
1 bar = 1 megapascal
1 Newton = 1 kilogram x 9.81

Conversion factors
1 atmosphere = 101.325 kilopacsals : 1 kilopascal = 0.00986 atmospheres
1 psi = 6.894 kilopascals : 1 kilopascal = 0.1382 psi

1 kilogram/square millimetre = 1422.32 psi : 1 psi = 0.7031 grams/square millimetre
1 kilogram-metre = 7.233 foot-pounds : 1 foot-pound = 0.1382 kilogram-metres

1 UK tonf = 9.964 kilonewtons : 1 kilonewton = 0.1004 UK ton (force)
1 US tonf = 8.896 kilonewtons : 1 kilonewton = 0.1124 US ton (force)
1 pound(force) = 4.4482 Newtons : 1 Newton = 0.2248 pounds(force)

Time

1 solar year = average interval between 2 successive returns of the sun to the first point of Aries.
1 sireal year = average period of revolution of the Earth with respect to the fixed stars.
1 anomalistic year = average interval between successive perihelions
1 solar year (1 astronomical year) = 365.242 mean solar days
1 sireal year = 365.256 mean solar days
1 anomalistic year = 365.259 mean solar days
1 calendar year = 365.25 mean solar days
1 solar day = interval between 2 successive returns of the sun to the meridian
1 mean solar day = average length of solar day over 1 year
1 second = time equal to the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation corresponding to the transition of the ground state of the Caesium-133 atom.

1 lustrum = 5 years

Old English standard

1 moment = 1.5 minutes

Work / Energy / Power

1 horsepower/hour = 2545 British thermal units
1 British thermal unit = 778 foot-pounds
1 kilowatt/hours = 3600 kilojoules
1 kilowatt = 1 kilojoule/sec

Conversion factors

1 horsepower/hour = 0.746 kilowatt/hours : 1 kilowatt/hour = 1.34 horsepower/hours
1 horsepower = 746 watts : 1 watt = 0.00134 horsepower
1 British thermal unit = 0.252 calories (kilogram calorie)

Temperature

Boiling point of water = 212° Fahrenheit
Freezing point of water = 32° Fahrenheit
Boiling point of water = 100° Celsius
Freezing point of water = 0° Celsius
1 Celsius degree = 1 Kelvin degree
0 Kelvin = absolute zero

Conversion factors

Fahrenheit to Celsius = (5/9)x(tF-32)
Fahrenheit to Kelvin = (5/9)x(tF + 459.67)
Celsius to Fahrenheit = (9/5 x tC)+32
Celsius to Kelvin = tC + 273.15

India On Rent !

HOW A FORMER “MATH-HATER” BECAME A TOP RANKING MATH TUTOR

It may come as a surprise that I hated math while in school. If I teach it today, then something must have happened. Here is my tale of conquering math anxiety…

From day one, kids in school get drummed into them that teachers know it all. Students don’t dare challenge the teacher and if they are falling behind it’s implied that the fault lies within the student. (My story is on no way intended to bash the teaching profession. There are many, many excellent teachers out there.) But, teachers today are dealing with new challenges such as larger class sizes, condensed curriculum, etc., so less time is spent on assessing the individual’s progress and understanding. This fact, combined with the tendency for kids to avoid questioning teachers on unclear concepts, leads to low self-confidence in the classroom and poor performance.

That was me: afraid to question. And, consequently, my grades suffered.

My teachers (in an expensive private school) taught to the top and ignored the bottom half of the class. Guess where I was? I always sat at the back of class, out of trouble and out of sight. Many, many times, I wanted to ask a question because I was confused. But, my heart would thunder and my stomach would turn at the thought of being ridiculed. Ridicule is a very powerful blunt instrument. So, questions didn’t get asked and there were no answers. According to a series of studies from the American Educational Research Association, only 25% of students asked for help once more, after failing to get an answer to a question on the first attempt.

Math anxiety is very common and can be transferred to students from other classmates or even subconciously passed down from parents. Math anxiety manifests in the classroom because students run the risk of appearing vulnerable in front of their peers – something that we spend our entire adolescence trying to avoid. Class participation for a math class often requires students to rely on memorization, and one person’s ability to recall information differs greatly from person to person- especially when mixed with the pressure to respond quickly and confidently in front of an audience. Another challenge for students is having the confidence to potentially answer a question incorrectly – appear foolish – or inquire further about a concept that is still unclear.

So in my case, pretty much ALL the basic concepts of math were never fully learned, all a vague blur, and I had nowhere to go but down. Math is like a ladder with a bunch of rungs. If the lower rungs are missing, then it’s impossible to climb the ladder. The years rolled on and math became more and more difficult – more and more confusing – and when kids are confused they will do anything to relieve the discomfort. Truth be told – we all do that. As a result, kids will turn away, turn off, make excuses, engage in diversions, blame others, hate math, lie to themselves (and their parents) and sink! They give up hope for the future and resolve that they will never be a “math person.”

I was lucky. My best buddy’s dad was a man I admired greatly. Even at my lowest, he picked me up by the scruff of my neck and gave me a life lesson. All it takes is one person to change your outlook and restore confidence. Specifically, he taught me about belief systems. I believed I was stupid. As a self-fulfilling prophecy it worked beautifully. Everything was hard, nothing was easy, and what the teachers had told me over the years came to be true. I was dumb and the results proved it.

Now, if I teach math today, then something must have happened. Yes, it did. Mr. Brown taught me about my bent beliefs and he persuaded me that the best way to understand math was to try to explain it to other people. My immediate reaction was, “You must be insane! How can I do that?!” But, Mr. Brown insisted and even got me a job as a math teacher! Not just any job, but at a prestigious technical college named after John Napier, the guy who invented logarithms! Scared or not, Mr. Brown pushed me forward and I studied, and I studied, and I studied. Not to pass an exam, but to pass my future students unscathed. After spending the afternoons on intense individual study, I would go to school at night and teach math. Monday through Friday – every night. And, as I was teaching – I found I was really teaching myself.

I finished at my University with 1st Class Honors, and making 100’s became routine – something I would have never thought possible. Once I abandoned my fear of asking questions and focused on learning concepts rather than relying on memorization, no exam question could rattle my cage and there was no more exam anxiety. I became comfortable confronting the things I was unclear on, and admitting openly when I needed help. One-on-one learning is a life-time opportunity – once students find comfort and are at ease in being open and honest about their shortcomings, they open the door to REAL learning.

After one year of this intense study and clarification in my mind, I discovered that, without my perceived pressure of a classroom full of peers waiting to judge my performance, all the basic concepts were actually very straightforward and made perfect sense.

Don’t we ALL like stuff when we – are – good – at – it? I came to really enjoy math – because I – was – good – at – it.

Genius? Me!? No way!! I just did what had to be done. Period.

No more doubts, no more fear, and no more exam anxiety.

Lessons:

  • The faster you admit that you “don’t get it” the sooner you WILL.
  • It’s ok to ask for help from others. ASK QUESTIONS!
  • We can ALL be “Math People.”
  • Study time is a must. NO excuses.
  • Believe you can – and you can! Telling yourself you NEVER will is setting yourself up for failure.

R. Bruce Neill has been a tutor on WyzAnt since February 2011, and provides online lessons. SEND AN EMAIL to R. Bruce today to inquire about availability. Since joining the site, he has taught over 900 hours and received 450 star ratings. His reviews are overwhelmingly positive and one students goes as far as to call him a “math genius!” He tutors in Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Microsoft products, Mac, Physics, SAT, ACT, Language Arts, Career Development and resumes – even Portuguese!

OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET FOR STUDIES

Educational Resources

 You can find a lot of fine educational materials available on the internet, however It sometimes takes a while to locate it. These links will lead you to important topics covered in many subjects and training resources which we might be very beneficial to you.

 Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open and distance learning domain as a consequence of the openness movement.

There is no universal usage of open file formats in OER.The development and promotion of open educational resources is often motivated by a desire to provide an alternate or enhanced educational paradigm.

  1. Algebra Explorations, Pre-K through Grade 7
  2. Basic Algebra
  3. Basic Algebra Concepts
  4. Algebra 1
  5. Algebra I Teacher’s Edition
  6. Algebra 2
  7. Basic Geometry
  8. Basic Geometry, Teacher’s Edition
  9. Basic Geometry Concepts
  10. Geometry
  11. Geometry, Teacher’s Edition
  12. CK-12 Trigonometry Concepts
  13. Trigonometry
  14. Trigonometry, Teacher’s Edition
  15. Basic Probability and Statistics – A Short Course
  16. Basic Probability and Statistics – A Full Course
  17. CK-12 Basic Probability and Statistics Concepts – A Full Course
  18. CK-12 Advanced Probability and Statistics Concepts
  19. Probability and Statistics (Advanced Placement)
  20. Advanced Probability and Statistics Teacher’s Edition
  21. Calculus
  22. Calculus, Teacher’s Edition
  23. Basic Physics
  24. CK-12 People’s Physics Concepts
  25. Physics – From Stargazers to Starships
  26. 21st Century Physics
  27. Chemistry
  28. Chemistry, Teacher’s Edition
  29. Chemistry – Labs & Demos
  30. Biology
  31. Biology Workbook
  32. Biology, Teacher’s Edition
  33. Life Science for Middle School
  34. Earth Science Concepts
  35. Earth Science for Middle Schools
  36. Earth Science for High Schools
  37. Engineering – An Introduction for High School
  38. Adventure Stories
  39. Africa
  40. Anthropology
  41. Archaeology
  42. Best Books Ever Bookshelf
  43. Biographies
  44. Children’s Book Series
  45. Children’s Fiction
  46. Children’s Literature
  47. Classical Era Collection
  48. Detective Fiction
  49. Fantasy Collection
  50. Folklore
  51. Gothic Fiction
  52. Harvard Classics Collection
  53. History For Children
  54. Horror Fiction
  55. Mystery Fiction
  56. Native America
  57. One Act Plays
  58. Philosophy
  59. Poetry
  60. School Stories
  61. Science Fiction
  62. Short Stories
  63. Libros en Español
  64. Westerns

 

Encyclopedia – Wikipedia Selection

  1. Art
  2. Business Studies
  3. Citizenship
  4. Countries
  5. Everyday life
  6. Design and Technology
  7. Geography
  8. History
  9. IT
  10. Language and Literature
  11. Mathematics
  12. Music
  13. People
  14. Portals
  15. Religion
  16. Science

 

U.S.National Library of Medicine

  1. Medical Encyclopedia (S.National Library of Medicine)

 

Hesperian Health Guides: (Hesperian)

  1. Where There Is No Doctor. A village health care handbook.
  2. Where There Is No Dentist
  3. Where Women Have No Doctor
  4. Disabled Village Children
  5. Women with Disabilities – A Health Handbook
  6. A Book for Midwives: Care for pregnancy and birth
  7. Helping Children Who Are Deaf
  8. Helping Children Who Are Blind
  9. Cholera Prevention Fact Sheet
  10. Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment
  11. Water for Life – Community water security
  12. A Community Guide to Environmental Health
  13. Helping Health Workers Learn

 

OLPC Educational Packages

  1. Storybooks
  2. Web Design
  3. Wikibooks
  4. Wikislice General
  5. Wikislice Animals

100.WikiHow

101.Biology

102.Wikislice Chemistry

103.Wikislice Physics

104.Nature Photographs

105.World Culture

106.Music Samples

107.How to Build Musical Instruments

108.y-Bee-See – An interactive ABC picturebook

109.A compact multilingual translation dictionary

110.Primary Mathematics in English

111.Primary Science in English

112.Secondary Science in English

113.School Management in English

114.HIV/AIDS Electronic Library – resource for teachers

Mathematics / Typing / Music lessons

115.MathExpression Math Video Lessons, Tips and Practice, from Wei  Chong

116.Typing Practice

117.Music Theory Lessons, from musictheory.net

A CHECKLIST FOR TEACHING SCIENCE SUBJECTS EFFECTIVELY IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

MASON COLLEGE SCIENCE TEACHER SUBMITS SEMINAR REPORT ON “EFFECTIVE METHODS OF TEACHING SCIENCE” A LECTURE GIVEN BY MR.ATOKARA DANIEL (A GUEST SPEAKER FROM GHANA)

INTRODUCTION

He defined effective method as the art of teaching science such that students will be able to get the content of the teaching, and the teaching will in turn reflect on students’ behavior.He defined science as a way of explaining the universe in which we live in. He also stated that science is a body of knowledge and a process of acquiring knowledge.

The fundamental knowledge in scientific principles by “Marvin Druger” were given as;
(1)Science might be taught in an integrative manner.
(2)Changes in the science teacher preparation. That is the teacher should adopt different teaching formats, this will serve as a challenge to the students.
(3)Focus on students’ motivation.
(4)An active student involvement in the learning. In this case the teacher is expected to carry the students along as he teaches.

He then highlighted the various methodologies of teaching science effectively coupled with relevant check lists. He explained that the importance of the checklist is to guide the teacher on his presentations.

METHOLOGY OF TEACHING SCIENCE EFFECTIVELY:

a.The Use Of Chalkboard:

-This is to illustrate, outline or underscore ideas in written or graphic forms.In using the chalkboard facts that cannot be picked by students during the teacher’s explanation might be seen more clearly by students

-Relevant checklist applicable to the Chalkboard were given as follows…The teacher must;

-Say what he/she has to say before writing them on the board.
-Use keywords or concepts.
-Be aware of the organization of ideas on the board.
-Erase the board before writing a new concept, idea or diagram.
-Write legibly and large enough to be easily read.

b.Demonstration

-He said this can be used to teach concepts or skills directly or to prepare students for laboratory work, he further explained that this will also provide the students opportunity to see a phenomenon or event that they otherwise would not have observed.
-The following checklists were also given on demonstration.He said that the teacher must;

-Be sure that the students can see and hear clearly.
-Do the demonstration on his own before trying it in front of students.
-Take all necessary precautionary/safety measures,for example making sure all windows are opened.
-Plan his demonstration so that it clearly shows the intended concepts or skills.

c.Field Trip

-The speaker described a field trip as a unique learning experience that cannot be accomplished in classrooms.

-Checklist include…The teacher must;

-Take the trip first before going with the students.
-Prepare the students for the trip by determining their objectives and general expectations.
-Make proper transportation arrangements.
-Confirm prior arrangements for admission.
-Obtain permission slips from parents or guardians
-Arrange for additional adult colleagues of opposite gender to come along.

d.Laboratory

-He said that the laboratory gives the students unique experiences on the actual use of equipment and materials as they resolve problems and develop knowledge,skills and values related to effective science teaching and learning.

-Checklist include…The teacher must;

-Select a laboratory that best illustrates his objectives.
-Make necessary changes in the physical arrangement of the laboratory.
-Be sure that materials needed for the practicals are available and functional.
-Give clear, succinct directions including safety precautions,how to handle equipments, where to obtain materials, assignment of groups and also expectations of conduct and reporting.

e.Laboratory Report

-He stated that this will formalize the students’ laboratory experience and make connections between prior and present knowledge.

-Checklist include…The teacher must;

-Involve students in report writing.
-Outline expectation in terms of length, format and thoroughness.
-Review the students report.

f.Film Shows/Classroom Computer & 1CT Devices (Devices)

-He said these will present information in an interesting and efficient manner.

-Checklist: The teacher must;

-Preview the Devices before showing/using them to/in the class
-Decide where the Devices can best fit in the instructional sequence
-Outline some introductory remarks.
-Ensure that the students concentrate on knowing how devices work and in knowning why they are relevant.
-At times pause Devices and have brief discussions where necessary, but not to be done too repeatedly.
-Conduct a discussion after the Devices come to an end.
-Entertain questions from students and make connections between content in Devices and the students’ previous knowledge and relevance for future topics.

g.Lecture

-This is used to present a large body of information.

-Checklist: In doing the teachers is expected to;

-Be sure that the lecture is organized, use an outline and make it available before or during the lecture.
-Supplement lectures with slides and/or charts to illustrate concepts and ideas.
-Monitor students’ attention and relate previous knowledge with the present one to widen students understanding.
-Talk clearly and in a manner that clarifies key points and facilitate note taking.

h.Questioning:

-This stimulates thinking more effectively by a 2-way communcation between the teacher and students

-Checklist: The teacher must;

-Use variety of questions to test if the students have actually gained from the teaching.
-Outline expectation in terms of length, format and thoroughness.
-Provide time for the students to think about answers or questions
-Use questions that require thinking at different levels for instance recall, comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation.

Good luck.

THE MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF A LIFE COACH NO 4

“Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect.
There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it.
There is someone who would miss you if you were gone.
There is a place that you alone can fill.”…Jacob M. Braude

I got visited a few months ago by one of my old students. It was a visit made almost after 21 yrs because he passed out of PASS TUTORIAL COLLEGE in 1995. Since then he attended Yaba Tech, Unilag and did his Masters in England. Today he runs his own oil and gas company based around the Ikeja-Berger axis.

So what was special about the visit? He said since he came back from England he had intended to look for me to say thank you for the way his life was changed at the Tutorial School. He said before he came to the school his father had lost hope on him because of his careless attitude towards education.

He said they were living at Olodi – Apapa and that it was a friend of his father who told him about PASS in Festac. He said despite that his old man was not interested but that it was his mother who brought him to PASS and that he remembered me from the first day he was registered.

He said that even when he changed the father still suspected him of pretense till the day of his graduation from Unilag. He said it was at the end of the ceremony after the father saw his name on the list of graduating students that he stretched out his hands to shake him and told him that he should read further.

He said when he got to England was when he saw the practical demonstration of similar methods used by teachers for them as was done in PASS. He said Unilag lecturers acted like demi-gods but he experienced life coaching again in England the way PASS TUTORIAL COLLEGE did it for them in those days.

So he decided that one day he would leave his workers behind in the office and tell them he was going to look for one Mr. Odumosu in Festac Town. He did not get the address in full but he knew it was somewhere on 5th Avenue so he decided to check me up by going into each close on the avenue asking residents if they knew my close! He was lucky someone in the second close he entered told him my exact address and he came directly.

When we met I could not really recognize him. You can imagine the changes after 21 yrs that would have come upon a boy who was 16 or 17 years old. He was well-dressed, with nicely cut hair and trimmed beard. Nice car too. He told me the methods used for them at PASS were completely different from what was used for them throughout his six years in his secondary school.

And me? I marveled at the strength of the bond a teacher can create with students if he is truly interested in their lives. Many tutors do not seem to know the existence or power of this bond. It was the same bond that made me call my secondary school Mason College almost 27 yrs after I met Revered Donald Mason at Christ’s School Ado-Ekiti. It is the same bond that makes me still posting articles till tomorrow about Reverend Ogunlade (Otura) who took over from Rev Mason after his retirement.

I thanked him for his decision to seek me out and the sacrifice to leave his work and workers behind just to pay me a visit. I also thanked God for what PASS did in his life. As usual my remark was that nothing could have been achieved by me or the school if God had not put the ability in him to “come to himself”through his DNA.

I also told him as I wish to remind any teacher reading this today that we teachers are specially anointed gardeners in God’s garden. No pastor or reverend or shepherd can keep students in the same place from 8 am to 3 pm daily,Monday to Friday. It is only a school and its group of teachers who can.

As a teacher you would have completely missed the road if you think your only concern is to teach subjects allocated to you through the school’s time table. In most schools there are many interfaces for interaction with students outside boxes called classrooms. No matter how short a time you spend with students in any school make sure they can remember your work in their lives 21 years later. My visitor spent only 9 months in PASS from October 94 to June 95 but he came looking for the “Director” in 2016!

This is another experience of mine as as a life coach. Please look closely at yourselves now and what you think you can do for those children who are with you today before it’s too late.All the so-called small children with me in those days have grown up to be papas and mamas too.Those small eyes in your classrooms today,sometimes excited and sometimes afraid, will remember u someday and will decide whether u are worth remembering at all not to talk about leaving their work behind to plod through Lagos traffic just to greet you.

But in the case i just narrated was it greetings with an ordinary handshake?…Lets leave that one out for now….hahaha!

This is my 4th story of the series meant to encourage teachers.The other 3 are on my FB wall.Please have a nice day and thanks for reading

10 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

1.That government is doing something about revival of a reading culture

2.That just having libraries in schools will improve educational standards without a deliberate program of use.

3.That the internet has created a phobia for reading by students.Big lie they now read more through their phones even if what they read is Facebook and Twitter.

4.That importation of foreign educational systems by Nigerian governments is bad

5.That there is a real class of “stakeholders” in Education in Nigeria

6.That teachers were good because they were better trained.

7That educational standards of today’s graduates is nothing to write home about.

8.That educating children is an investment for parents’ rainy days

9.That students were more serious in the past than today.

10.Many feel the goals/objectives of teaching are still the same as those of many years ago.

PLEASE ASK US FOR MORE NOTES ON ANY OF THESE IF YOU WISH.THANK YOU.

7 TYPES OF MISSPELLINGS

Most misspellings can be categorized in one of seven groups. Here are some examples for each of those types.

  1. Incorrectly Repeated Consonants

In some words, consonants are awarded extraneous twins, such as a doubling of the first t in commitment or of the r in harass (the latter perhaps from confusion with embarrass, in which r is doubled. Other common erroneous doublings including the n in inoculate (perhaps because of innovation and other words in which n is doubled), the s in occasion (many words, like expression, do have a double s), and the c in recommend. Note that in many of these words, there’s already a twin double consonant, which may also confuse writers. (One word that does have two twin consonant pairs, accommodate, is often misspelled with only one m.)

  1. Wrong Vowel

Using an incorrect vowel is a common problem, leading to such misspellings as definately (or the bizarre variant definatly), dependant, privelege, rediculous (a heretofore virtually unknown mistake, prompted by emphatic pronunciation of the first syllable, that has gone viral as more people are exposed to it online), and seperate. The correct spellings are definitely, dependent, privilege, ridiculous, and separate.

  1. Wrong Consonant

This type of error is less common than those of the vowel variety, but two of the most commonly misspelled words in this category are consensus (in which the first s is replaced with a c) and supersede (in which the second s is replaced with a c).

  1. Reversed Order of Double Vowels

Many words with two consecutive vowels, especially those with a pairing of e and i, look odd no matter which order the vowels appear in, so for many writers, it’s a toss-up as to which is correct. These words are all spelled correctly: gauge, niece, pharaoh, receive, weird.

  1. Extra Letters

One word that is often given an extra vowel is mischievous, perhaps because it is often mispronounced as if it were spelled mischievious. Some words ending in -ly, such as publicly, are often erroneously given an -ally ending. Judgment and acknowledgment, spelled in British English (and, well into the twentieth century in the United States) with an e after the g, omit the e in American English.

  1. Missing Letters

Coolly and woolly are often misspelled with only one l. Incidentally and other words with the -ally ending, in a reversal of the problem commonly seen with misspelling of publicly and the like, are frequently mistakenly spelled with -ly endings. Liaison often lacks its second i, prerogative is sometimes seen without the first r, and rhythm may lack the first h.

  1. Confusion with a Similar Word

The most common type of misspelling, perhaps, is that in which the wrong word in a homophonic duo or trio is employed, such as forward in place of foreword or site (or, rarely, sight) instead of cite.

By Mark Nichol

7 Types of Misspellings

IKEJA SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL GETS NEW LIBRARY


The importance of a well-equipped school library to quality education was recently underscored when a Lagos-based organisation donated new library to Ikeja Senior High School, Ikeja. Olaseni Durojaiye writes

The school library is not integral to learning; it is the heart of the school as it aides both teaching and learning which explains why it is pivotal to developing the 21st Century learners as it provides a model for inquiry learning and building knowledge and confidence in seeking and processing information. Interestingly, there is a growing body of proofs showing the impact of the school library on students’ academic development and achievement.

Besides benefits to students, a well-equipped library is a fundamental resource centre that also provides support for the teaching staff. Scholars hold the view that a school library reflects and encourages collaborative learning and sharing of ideas just as research shows that the reading scores for students in schools that focus on improving their library programmes are, on average of eight to 21 per cent, higher than similar schools with no such programmes.

As important as school libraries are to learning and teaching, the state of libraries in public school leaves much to be desired. While some schools lack well-equipped libraries, others simply do not have. Many schools boast of reading room in the name of library as many of the libraries are too small and often congested making them not conducive for learning.

This was the case with the school library at Ikeja Senior High School, Ikeja, Lagos before the intervention by X3M Ideas, a Lagos-based advertising agency which decided to donate a well-equipped library to the school as part of its yearly corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

THISDAY gathered that, before the new library was renovated, equipped and handed over to the school management for the use of the school community, the school shared a single room library with Ikeja Junior High School. It was further gathered that the former library was too small to adequately serve the two schools and lacked enough text book resources to cater for the study needs of the students from the two schools that it was meant for.

That has however become history with the donation of the new library by X3M Ideas.
The new library comes with comfortable, four student apiece workstation-like study desks. Each unit has spacious leg room and wide enough table-top that affords convenient reading. Besides, the demarcation at the top of the table forecloses distraction, interferences from other users on the unit and, affords personal space and some measure of privacy.

A tour of the library revealed well stocked book shelves and well arranged seating arrangement. The books and text books on display cut across different subjects from arts, commercial and science subjects. The books bore subjects like agriculture, biology, chemistry, additional mathematics, commercial studies, home economics, integrated science, literature and physics among others.

The Librarian’s table is strategically positioned directly opposite the entrance to the library. A desktop computer monitor and keyboards seat on the table while the Central Processing Unit sits below the table top. From the vantage position, the librarian is able to monitor goings on inside the hall.

A staff of the Ad agency who craved anonymity told THISDAY that “We always put our CSR project in the budget every year, and then we begin to save towards it from the beginning of the year. It’s a tough choice especially at this moment of technical recession and when other agencies are cutting cost and downsizing; but our CEO believes that it’s a choice that must be made. Whenever he talks about the projects he’ll ask us which is the better choice; should people consider how hard it is to spend the money on such laudable project or how harder the future of those children will be without quality education.”

While performing the official tape cutting to declare the library open for use, Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary, District Six, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Amidat Anifowoshe, commended the donor company and praised its courage to commit to the project at a time the nation’s economy was experiencing a downturn and businesses are cutting costs as against incurring more cost.

But it was the narratives of the school’s Principal, Mrs. Ibidun Olawuyi that best captured the mood of the school community. Her narration recalled how the library came to be:

“Since I was posted to this school as the Principal, having a befitting library has been a burden in my heart. The school shares the existing so called library with junior school and this had made it difficult for an effective use of the library by both the students and staff of the school. Today, I thank God; that burden has been lifted and we now have a well furnished library for the school, all courtesy of X3M Ideas Company,” she stated.

Continuing, Mrs. Olawuyi recalled how the project came about thus: “It all started in June upon my resumption from a casual leave when the Vice Principal Academics came to brief me that a young man named Nnamdi Okeke came to the school and asked what the school lacked with a view to assisting. According to her, she told him of the needs for computers and a school library. I immediately took the offer of a school library.

“Nnamdi came back as promised and we got talking. Like a dream come true here we are today, inaugurating the library. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to God Almighty, who sees and grants hearts desires as He has by this granted one of my desires for the school. I also want to express my profound appreciation to the management and owners of X3M Ideas for promising and fulfilling the promises so promptly that it seem like a dream. The whole project took about two months to complete and I am aware it costs millions of naira,” the Principal recounted.

Speaking with THISDAY shortly after a tour of the newly inaugurated library, Chief Executive Officer of X3M Ideas, Steve Baba-Eko, explained that the project was borne out of the conviction that providing the students with quality education is the best way of guiding them to become good citizens and leaders in future.

“We are doing this because providing quality education for the children is the best way to groom quality future leaders. Education saved people like me. Why I am able to be where I am today or do what we’re doing today is because I am educated.

“Today, anybody can get educated. However; it’s not just about education but the quality of the education. That was why we decided that in our own little way we will meet the government of Lagos State or any other state halfway in the provision of quality education for our youth, especially those in secondary schools because if we fail to do so the quality of leaders that we will have in future may not be what we will be proud of,” he explained.

Speaking further, he stressed “Last year we went to the boys’ reformatory home, we looked at their sanitary system, you cannot reform anybody in those conditions, so we provided them with a brand new toilets system, new bathrooms complete with lighting systems. We are not just talking to children from well off home or school, we are also talking to children from indigent homes and who are in conflict with the society. So we shall continue to find new ways of engaging with them from different backgrounds,“ he concluded.

Some of the students who braved the ongoing end of session holiday to grace the inauguration could not hide their elation. The joy they exuded can be likened to that of a traveler in the desert – travel weary, tired and thirsty – then came upon an oasis.

One of the students, Elizabeth Ayodele, captured the mood of her colleagues in her vote of thanks. “On behalf of the students of Ikeja Senior High School, I say a big thank you our donor, X3M Ideas for the new school library. The well-equipped library will be of immense benefits to the student population. It will enhance our reading culture and have great impact on the academic performance of the students. I promise that we are going to make effective use of the library. Once again, thank you X3M Ideas, and may God Almighty in His infinite mercies continue to bless the company,” she said.

The teachers were not left out in the gale of excitement in the schools. One of them told THISDAY that “Students and their teachers need library resources and the expertise of a librarian to succeed. School libraries help teachers teach the children better because we are able to go in there to research; sometimes too we ask the students to go in there and read up some topic then return to the class room to engage in interactive session.

A school library functions like a resource centre that supports school programmes as well as the teaching and learning process. School libraries serve students by providing materials to meet their various needs and encouraging independent reading and the use of libraries,” she stressed, adding that “That’s why we are so delighted. We’re indeed grateful to XTM Ideas for this donation; it will certainly impact our work and the performances of the students going forward,” she stated.

Source: Ikeja Senior High School Gets New Library | THISDAYLIVE

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FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO….REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES (PARTS 5-6)

REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES 5

Amma Darko’s Faceless tackles a society’s neglect of its future leaders, the irresponsibility of fathers, the importance of the media in solving problems and the importance of determination in our lives. It blatantly portrays how a larger ‘section’ of the society is living and dealing with life as if there is no one looking after them. So difficult is life to such individuals that what to eat is as problematic as where to ease; what to wear and where to sleep and even waking up to the morning sun are seen as miracles. It clearly shows the effect of streetism on the society and how decayed and corrupt society has become. The axiom that ‘each one for himself God for us all’ can clearly summarise the content of this novel, and to some extent, without taking anything from the author, can act as its second title.

Fofo was forced out from home by her mother, Maa Tsuru, to fend for herself and to allow her mother raise her younger sister Baby T. However, later Baby T was also given away to to fend for herself in one of the most difficult slums in Ghana, Agbogbloshie. Baby T gets brutally murdered and all fingers point to Poison. Besides, her elder sister, Fofo, was almost raped and later beaten by Poison to prevent her from divulging any information to MUTE, a group of four women dedicated to the idea of providing what they refer to as ‘alternate’ library which would act as a respository of local knowledge not found in everyday books. Poison, the boss of the streets, cowed all the kayayos (head-porters) from disclosing the identity of the Baby T, yet the real person responsible for Baby T’s death is one of society’s innocent.

Amma Darko’s display of tradition becomes clear in this novel also. According Maa Tsuru she has been cursed and it is this curse that has rendered her useless, poor, crippled and husbandless. She has become an outcast in the family house and always lives indoors crying. Faceless is one woman’s account of life on the streets of Accra: the struggle, the peril, the survival, the near-death experiences, the deaths and the births. However, behind all these problems, all these complex issues, Amma Darko finds ways to inject humour into her prose, such as Kabria thinking that her son wanted to say Lord the King, when he asked for Lord Kenya’s album.

The writing is simple and brilliant; the diction, good. One need not carry a dictionary or a thesaurus. The simplicity of her writing is similar to that of J.K. Rowling. To me, Amma Darko has arrived and one needs to pay her more attention. This book serve as the basis for her latest novel Not Without Flowers. If you want to read Amma Darko, start from Faceless and you would never regret it. For those who are passionate about child delinquency, societal decadence, survival mechanisms, this book, and in fact all of Amma Darko’s books, is for you.

By Nana Fredua-Agyeman

REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES 6

READERS’ COMMENTS

1.what a touching novel, paving light on the many abused females, whose vulnerability, poverty & lack of support never allow them to even defend themselves.. the worst crime to a person is treating her body as a mere object.. but still, our society or laws are not grown to end this forever.. the plight of a female left in the street, regardless of her age or state of affairs, is worse than that of a street dog. thanks for the fine review, dear, as it will reach many who could not get to read i…aquaturtleme

2.Celestine that was an excellent book review, definitely a book I’m interested in reading. For the author, Amma to point out the horrors that current exist on our planet and your country in particular is admirable and inspirational. Indeed it is people like her that make others around the world more aware, and we need lots and lots more awareness going on to tackle societal sickness, for so it must be. Thank you for bringing Amma Darko to my attention…Penny

3.Thanks Celestine, I am buying it, please know that for all the lightness and sensual direction that my blog is taking at the moment I really do have a hidden motive which is for people to be more comfortable with opening up about things which, I hope will in turn allow them to not be socially blinded by the injustice that is flourishing in your country and in other places. My approach I admit is unorthodox but when I was in the marketing world of business I learned that first you have to capture the audience before they will engage with you. I really enjoy your poetry as well as your reviews, thank you my friend…Penny

4.it surprises me that, even in America, there is still so much prejudice against women-in pay, in the jobs they are still rather limited to,in their general worth. We suffers to carry men for 9 months, agonizes to give birth to them, loves them as if they were made of gold, spoils them, cleans them, teaches them. Of course this goes for female children too. Then I lok at my son making 50.00 for a mechanical job while teachers are paid insulting salaries…We have a long way to go. Sounds like a heart warming story. beebee

5.Street life in the slums of Accra is realistically portrayed in this socially-commited, subtle novel about four educated women who are inspired by the plight of a 14-year old girl, Fofo. As the main characters convert their library center into a practical street initiative, the novel invokes the squalor, health risks, and vicious cycles of poverty and violence that drive children to the streets and women to prostitution; and, from which, ultimately, no one in the society is free.

6.Amma Darko’s ‘Faceless’, realistically pictures a faceless and bleak African society. Such settings as Agbogbloshie market, Sodom and Gomorrah etc in Ghana are symbolic of typical African ghettos doomed for imprisonment, criminality, torture, hunger and utter neglect by the Superstructure. The tale is that of a futureless society that, out of sheer foolishness, abandones its very essence, core values, beauty, pride, hopes, represented by the divine gifts-children-in pursuit of shadows and materialism. The novelette, therefore, presents a tragic vision for the continent, hoping that parents and governments will look inward and backward to discover where rain began to beat them and where water is leaking from their roofs!…Umoekah, Ekemini

7.This novel is the critical analysis of tribulations, agony, pain and disregarding women go through in their life. anybody that read that novel must deeply have compassion for women. but the questions here is that should our traditional leaders, government and other top ranking class of people proof their leadership power in finding solution to such problem? seriously it is government obligations to find out the reason and cousing of such problem. if that should be done our dear nation will really turn to a new Jerusalem!!!! please, but that prose writing it’s satire, tragedy or both?? answer please!…Amos Augustine

8.Right from onset (i.e. from the creation of Adam & Eve) woman is being regarded as help-mate to man, Not a servant neither a slave. The State of Nature has deprived most women if not all the rights and freedom to participate on issues that matters to them and their environs. The word FACELESS can mean ‘deprivation, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, oppression, and lack of expression etc. In my own view, all women should be treated as QUEENS, catered and care for, and most of all be LOVED. GOD help us all to love one another…N.J. OluwaSeun

9.Good work but I think you need to check Baby T and Fofo. From what i read i deduced that B aby T is the oldest daughter of Maa Tsuru. Her name is actually Baby Tsuru because her father was unknown. Fofo is the youngest.Anonymous6 to Nana Fredua-Agyeman

FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO….REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES (PARTS 3-4)

REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES 3

Faceless (2003), Amma Darko’s gendered text about the tragic experiences of children on the mean streets of Accra, opens with a wrenching rape scene at the Agbogbloshie market. In shocking and lurid details, Darko’s narrative captures the horrid reality females, especially young teenage girls, endure and cannot escape. The almost surrealistic scenery of the rape act translates as vicious and relentless violations of the female body and desperate efforts of very young girls to defend their feminine space. The opening scene marks an attempt to crush the female body. This startling opening narrative signifies Darko’s artistic predilections. Darko will not rein in her voice as the issues confronting her subjects are urgent and alarming. There is no taboo subject in Darko’s artistic disposition. Her unbridled language measures the seriousness of her subject.

Darko’s emergent voice gives a new feminist perspective on the issues of gender and class in contemporary African writing. She explores a recurrent theme of sexual exploitation of the most vulnerable members of society. Throughout her fictional works (Beyond the Horizon, 1995; Housemaid, 1998; Faceless, 2003; and Not Without Flowers, 2007, sexuality becomes an overarching metaphor to examine the values of Ghanaian society. Faceless surpasses the other works in artistic intensity and complexity. In this novel, Darko defines feminine sexuality in terms of a complex trope of transformation from voicelessness to voice and movement beyond facelessness to attain face or personhood.

Darko’s writing about the experience of African women constitutes a clear departure from its expression in early African literature as a symbol for pristine beauty In contrast to Leopold Senghor (Chants d’ombre, 1945- Shadow Songs. Edition du Seuil, 1945; Nocturnes (1961), translated by John 0. Reed and Clive Wake, 1969; Leopold Sédar Senghor- Selected Poems, translated by Reed and Wake, 1964), and Camara Laye’s L’Enfant Noir, 1954-The Dark Child, translated by James Kirkup, Ernest Jones, and Elaine Gottlieb, 1954, Darko dispenses with tendencies to beatify the African woman, as such essentialist constructs of the African woman are paternalistic. Her female characters do not play peripheral roles in narratives about their own experience. Rather, the women in Darko’s fiction are assertive in seizing narrative threads and in weaving stories about their own lives.

In Darko’s novels, women burst through the veil of tradition to establish their voice and identity. Quite similar to her female compatriots, Efua Sutherland (The Marriage ofAnansewa and Edufa, 1967); and Ama Ata Aidoo (Anowa, a play based on a Ghanaian legend, 1970; Our Sister Killjoy, 1977, Darko gives a realistic account of the daily struggle of the Ghanaian woman. However, unlike Aidoo and Sutherland, who maintain propriety and guarded stance, Darko writes graphically and explicitly about sexual matters. Darko sets aside the conventions of traditional African society, which often calls for decorum, to speak about issues that unsettle her audience. She wades into such controversial subjects as AIDS, child rape, prostitution, and polygamy.

Consistent with the general trend in contemporary Ghanaian writing, Darko focuses on the social malaise in Ghana since independence. However, while her predecessors, Ayi Kwei Armah {The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, 1968) and Kofi Awoonor {This Earth My Brother, 1971), represent in broad terms the frustrations, emptiness, and ennui in Ghana, Darko depicts these same issues at deeply felt individual levels. In another marked distinction, Darko seeks a way out of this prolonged nightmare by rendering women visible and by creating feminine voice and space. She urges women to revive their voice to sustain their lives. The women in Faceless are stigmatized, yet they engage in courageous acts to throw off the yoke of oppression in a male-dominated society.

In Faceless, Darko writes with urgency about the predicament of a cadre of very young children who eke out a living on the streets of Accra. …

https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-3055329561/faceless-amma-darko-s-face-for-the-faceless…By Awuyah, Chris Kwame

REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES 4

It’s taken me so long to post this book review because I struggled to find the right words to summarise what I deem a message about the neglected and rejected in society. I cannot give a brief summary to this insightful novel, so here is my review of Amma Darko’s Faceless…

When Maa Tsuru tells Fofo that Baby T’s mutilated body has been found at Agbogbloshie, Fofo sets out to find justice for her sister’s murder. In a twist of fate, she runs into Kabria who works with a non-governmental organization called MUTE which functions as an interventionist and alternative library for every social, gender and child issues.

Kabria takes an interest in Fofo’s case and determines to find out what led to Baby T’s death. With the help of Sylv Po, the reporter from Harvest FM, they work their way into a syndicate led by Poison, the street lord, that trades in child prostitutes, drugs and is linked to all manner of street crime.

In one of the most hostile parts of Accra, Fofo’s story draws Kabria and her colleagues’ attention to the socioeconomic menace that comprises a community of drifters and hustlers in a slam called Sodom and Gomorrah, so named after the Biblical city that God destroyed because of its numerous sins.

Amma Darko’s quest to find out how Accra’s squalid Sodom and Gomorrah sprung up out of her old neighbourhood at Old Fadama led to a series of revelations that inspired Faceless, her third novel.

Although the author uses ficticious names, she narrates what can possibly be described as real-life events at venues that really exist. Agbogbloshie, Makola Market, Korle-Gonno, Kaneshie, Abossey-Okai, Abeka and the all-notorious Sodom and Gomorrah can really be found in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

SOME IMAGES OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH

In making up the various characters and narrating their stories, Darko enlightens her reader about the information she amassed after nearly two years of research into street children, life in Sodom and Gomorrah, Agbogbloshie and its environs.

Fofo would have spent the Sunday night into Monday dawn with her friends across the road at the squatters enclave in Sodom and Gomorrah watching adult films her fourteen years required her to stay away from, and drinking directly from bottles of akpeteshie, or at best, some slightly milder locally produced gin. Ultimately, she would have found herself waking up Monday morning beside one of her age group friends, both of them naked, hazy and disconcerted; and oblivious to what time during the night they had stripped off their clothes and what exactly they had done with their nakedness. Sucked into a life on the streets and reaching out to each new day with an ever-increasing hopelessness, such were the ways they employed to escape their pain.

Darko draws her audience’s attention to the AIDS prevention campaign versus the situation prevailing in such communities:

Sylv Po’s female studio guest was on and complaining about the AIDS prevention programme not driving home the message of abstinence and faithfulness with the same intensity as the use of condoms. Then she touched on the AIDS issue versus the street-children phenomenon…

“During a recent survey we conducted for a programme, all the girls we talked to out there were already sexually active. And we also established that, for many of them, rape was their first sexual experience. And I am talking about girls as young as seven. Many were child prostitutes. They had no idea at all about the extent of self-damage to themselves. Sex to them was just a convenient means of survival. Many were roaming about, oblivious to whether or not they were HIV positive, so…”

In the course of her narration, Darko compares and contrasts Kabria’s family life with that of Fofo and her street companions. She outlines the benefits of family planning, especially in communities where womanhood is proven by having many children and barrenness is abhorred, and mentions some old wives’ tales about the correlation between how a baby is born and its behavioral pattern.

Kabria is the backbone of her family. She multitasks as a mother, wife and social worker. Adade, Kabria’s architect husband, contents himself with his work, joining co-workers to drinking spots to release tension, and returning home for dinner. Their constant argument about Creamy, Kabria’s stubborn hand-me-down VW Beetle, does not get in the way of a stable marriage because Kabria handles the situation tactfully. Their children – Obea, Essie and Ottu – are all in school. Each child’s character is a force to reckon with, but their parents take care of their needs. In a chaotic, but stable environment, the family is able to get along.

What of Fofo and the other street-children? How did they end up on the streets in the first place?

Darko uses the story of Maa Tsuru’s curse to unravel the process of birth to street life.

When a teenage girl is betrayed by the young man who impregnated her, she rains curses on him and all his descendants as life drains out of her in giving birth to the baby who will later be known as Maa Tsuru. Maa Tsuru grows up labelled as a cursed person. People distance themselves from her in her family house, where she also resides. After having two sons and two daughters with Kwei, he abandons them. Fofo and Baby T’s older brothers leave as soon as they are able to fend for themselves.

Then a new man worms his way into Maa Tsuru’s bed and connives with Maami Broni, who promises to find work for Baby T through Mama Abidjan’s questionable recruitment agency, in exchange for periodic payments to feed Maa Tsuru’s new family. Fofo too is forced to leave home because there are two new mouths to feed. Baby T is later found dead behind a hairdressing salon.

Fofo’s best friend, Odarley, share’s a similar story. Odarley’s mother also has a new husband and children she’d had by him. She resents Odarley because her father abandoned them and constantly accuses her daughter of stealing from her. So she drives Odarley out to live on the streets.

Then there is the story of the innocent boy who ran away from home to escape the constant abuse of a drunken stepfather. He ended up as a messenger in a brothel, worked his way up by bullying, raping and murdering and is now known as Poison the street lord.

A boy and a girl of about Fofo’s age and making their home on the streets of Accra like her were once asked by a reporter from one of the private FM stations during a survey about their most passionate dreams…

“My dream,” began the boy, “is to be able to go home one day to visit my mother and see a look of joy on her face at the sight of me. I want to be able to sleep beside her. I wish her to tell me she was happy I came to visit her. Whenever I visit her, she doesn’t let me stay long before she asks me politely to leave. She never has a smile for me. She is always in a hurry to see my back. Sometimes I cannot help thinking that maybe she never has a smile for me because the man she made me with that is my father probably also never had a smile for her too. One day she said to me, ‘Go. You do not belong here.’ If I don’t belong to where she is, where do I belong? But I know that it is not just that she doesn’t want to see me. She worries about the food that she has. It is never enough. So she worries that it may not suffice for her two new children if I joined. The ones she has with the man who is their father and who is her new husband. He hates to see my face. I often wonder what it is I remind him of so much.”

The girl said, “One day a kind woman I met at a centre made me very happy. Before I went there, I knew that by all means she would give me food. But this woman gave me more. She hugged me. I was dirty. I smelled bad. But she hugged me. That night I slept well. I had a good dream. Sometimes I wish to be hugged even if I am smelling of the streets.”

In an introductory essay by Kofi Anyidoho, Amma Darko is described as a major female Ghanaian writer whose works are akin to the likes of Efua T. Sutherland and Ama Ata Aidoo. Both her first and second novels, Beyond the Horizon and The Housemaid, focus on the plight of women and young girls in a merciless world dominated by greedy, irresponsible and often cruel men in their life. Faceless adds up to the other two novels to form what Anyidoho calls an important trilogy. Her stories revolve around feminism and abused women and children in society.

In using what I call simple ‘Ghanaian English’ to narrate the epic tale in Faceless, she gives her reader a feel of Ghanaian urban culture and idiosyncratic transliterations Ghanaians use as we blend our native dialects with English. Her narrative style may be a bit unusual, but she puts her message across well.

Faceless is about the children who have been long forgotten in the rush for modernisation and development in most countries. These young people can be an immense asset to the economy, but are lost to the machinations of poverty and illiteracy, losing their identities in the process.

In writing this book, Amma Darko reminds us…

“The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.”

– John F. Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22,1963

https://logoligi.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/faceless-by-amma-darko/

FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO….REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES (PARTS 1-2)

REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES 1

Faceless, Amma Darko’s third novel after Beyond the Horizon and The Housemaid, is the tragic story of street children in Accra, Ghana told through a chaotic urban fabric where pressing social issues like the gap between rich and poor, HIV/AIDS, broken families and the role of women in society are all-pervasive.

The story is an investigation of the death of Baby T, a child prostitute whose body is found dumped behind a marketplace, naked, beaten and mutilated. Darko skilfully reveals details about Baby T during the progression of the novel through her younger sister Fofo, herself a street child who comes into contact with group of women who run a documentation NGO called MUTE.

Baby T’s story is heartbreaking and entirely believable, not only in relation to Accra, but also in a global context. She is the third child of Ma Tsumu, born after a brutal beating intended to fulfil the ambitions of an abortion because the father believes that Ma Tsumu is “too fertile”. Kwei, the father, disappears after fathering Fofo, leaving Ma Tsumu to fend for herself with four children. The family manage alone with the two sons bringing home money from fish-related activities. But Faceless is a novel where things only go very wrong when men are involved and when Ma Tsumu takes a lover into her bed in the form of Kpakpo, who earns his keep by “dubious” means, the stage is set for tragedy.

The first consequence of the new lover is that the brothers, unable to stand the new nightly sounds of the shared bedroom, pack their bags and disappear. This leaves Baby T at the mercy of Kpakpo, who sexually abuses her. Hurt and confused, she confides in a family friend, Onko, who brutally rapes her. Ma Tsumu, a tragic figure destroyed by the men in her life, is unable to do anything but take money from Onko, who then continues to live in the same compound as Baby T. Clearly the situation is untenable and Kpakpo has the answer. Baby T can be sent away to a distant relative of his who is actually a Madame – in reality Baby T is sold into prostitution.

Discrimination against women is a constant theme of the novel and symbolically Baby T is representative of the sins visited upon all women in a society where from birth women are discriminated against and made responsible not only for their sins, but for those of men in society. As mentioned earlier, nothing goes right when men are involved and many of the male characters in the novel are murderers, child abuses, rapists – or simply good for nothings.

Even those not presented in this light are trapped in their perceptions of women as caregivers and housewives, such as NGO worker Kabria’s husband, who expects her to be waiting at the door to take his briefcase when he returns from work. Despite the fact that Kabria works a long day, she is still expected to manage the household, cook and take care of the children. Darko is keen to highlight this hypocrisy.

The response of women to their experience at the hands of men varies from Ma Tsumu’s “Because they are animals, They know no mercy…” to the positive engagement of the NGO MUTE, which is made up entirely of women as if to suggest that it is women who must be in control of their response to a warped male world.

But if the fate of women in society is a major theme of the novel, it plays itself out through a street children narrative which allows Darko the scope for powerful social commentary that demonstrates the personal tragedy of each and every child that ends up on the streets. As one of the characters says in quoting assassinated US president John F. Kennedy: “The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.” What is the hope, Darko seems to be asking, if societies can allow the conditions that result in the fate of Baby T?

Darko’s landscape is not entirely bleak: she does offer hope in the form of Fofo, who by the end of the novel looks set on the right road, and in the form of MUTE, whose members are the positive role models of the novel.

It might be said that the solutions offered by the novel are too simple, but Darko does leave enough in the air to suggest that nothing is certain. Indeed, the story is told with just enough skill to keep the reader guessing. While it is true that some of the characters sometimes feel a bit stereotyped, Darko is also capable of demonstrating some character complexity and contradictions, as in the case of the pimp Poison, who is also shown to be a victim through is own abuse as a child, but who now “no longer suffered the pain, he inflicted it.”

These criticisms aside, Darko succeeds in hammering home a powerful message that it is children and the way they are treated that are the true measure of how societies are judged. It is through their eyes that the answers to the myriad moral predicaments that society finds itself in, are to be found.

* Reviewed by Patrick Burnett…http://www.pambazuka.org/arts/faceless-amma-darko-0

REVIEWS,ANALYSES AND CRITIQUES 2

Faceless is the third novel written by Amma Darko, with an introductory essay by Prof. Kofi Anyhidoho. It tells of the death of Baby T, a child prostitute whose naked, beaten and mutilated body is found dumped behind a marketplace in Agbogbloshie, a slum area in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Details of the murder and Baby T’s life, are skilfully revealed by the author through two sources: one, Baby T’s younger sister Fofo, herself a street child; and through the rehabilitative intervention of an NGO, known as MUTE whose efforts through one of its Programme Officers, Kabria, unearth’s the proverbial can of worms that is the whole story of Faceless

Baby T’s story is heartbreaking. The third child of Ma Tsuru, Baby T is sexually abused by her mother’s live-in lover, Kpakpo. Confused and betrayed, she confides in a family friend and co-tenant, Onko, who takes advantage of her trust and rapes her. Baby T’s mother, Ma Tsuru, a tragic figure destroyed by the men in her life, is helpless to do anything. Weighed down by poverty, illiteracy and shame, she takes money from Onko, and matters take a drastic turn when Kpakpo, always on the loose for fast money manipulates Maa Tsuru and Baby T is sold into prostitution, to also appease his ‘guilt’. It seemed a nasty situation has been tidied up. But has it? Subsequent events, leading to the tragic death of Baby T proves otherwise.

Discrimination against women is a pervasive theme in the novel. Symbolically Baby T carries the sins of her parents, as well as those visited upon women in a society where culturally men are the masters and women bear the brunt of injustice; Maa Tsuru, Baby T’s mother whose husband abandons her penniless, as a result of a ‘curse’ is also a victim of discrimination whose hapless predicament is made more poignant by superstition, poverty and illiteracy. Thus though we have most of the male characters in the novel being murderers, rapists and irresponsible fathers, yet it is the female characters that suffer in a community of drifters and hustlers where characters like Poison, the local thug and Kingpin reign supreme.

Faceless is also the tragic, unfortunate story of a social canker in Ghana and indeed, the bane of developing countries, streetism in a metropolitan and urban environment; and a powerful social commentary and insight into the multifaceted issues underlying streetism, that is broken homes, rape, poverty, illiteracy AIDS, etc. She leaves no stone unturned in exposing and analysing the characters for their various behaviours and at the end, people like Maa Tsuru would receive thee sympathy of the reader and well some disgust, while Fofo would earn admiration for her brevity and courage in wanting to seek the truth and nothing but the truth behind her sister’s murder despite threats on her life from shady characters like Poison, who bring up only abhorrence. I do believe also that Kabria’and her children from the ‘urban posh’ environment are a foil to Fofo and her gang, the contrast created presenting a cruel view of the two worlds.

The fate of Baby T only strengthens her sister Fofo who, through the interventions of MUTE is given a new lease of life, so to speak. And the author seems to buttress this point further by quoting: “The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.” John F. Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)

Faceless is a well-researched novel, with the narration drawing on real-life events and places/slums like Agbogbloshie, Market, Makola Market, Korle-Gonno, and the all-notorious Sodom and Gomorrah (named after the Biblical city that God destroyed because of its numerous sins) of all which are in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The characters are real and believable enough and though some, like Poison are stereotyped I do believe the portrayal of such characters highlight the predominant truth and nastiness of the whole streetism and gang phenomena

The writing is brilliant, with simple easy to understand Ghanaian English, interspersed with the vernacular, giving the reader a feel of the Ghanaian culture and what makes her tick. I particularly like the narrative style, which though straight forward draws the reader in, building tension as the author takes us through dizzying moments of intrigue and suspense to reveal the hidden truth behind Baby T’s murder.

I believe Amma Darko is a force to reckon with and I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

https://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/review-faceless-by-amma-darko/

FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO…THEMES,NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE AND LANGUAGE

 

THEMES 1

1. Discrimination Against Women

The women in this novel bore the hardship inflicted on them by the male characters who were mostly absent fathers, murderers and rapists. For instance, Kwei, Maa Tsuru’s lover and the father of her first four children abandoned her simply because of the superstitious belief that she was cursed. Poison the street lord brutally assaulted Baby T and even attempted to rape Fofo. Kpakpo and Onko took advantage of Baby T and defiled her. In fact, Kpapkpo masterminded Baby T’s venture into prostitution.

2. Streetism

Another important theme that runs through the novel is streetism chiefly represented by the life in Sodom and Gomorrah, a slum in Accra. Faceless portrays the rising menace of street life and its many underlying issues namely, rape, violence, broken home, theft, dirt, poverty, AIDS and illiteracy.

3. Parental Neglect

The theme of parental neglect runs through the novel. All the child characters on the street in Faceless were neglected by their parents. Fofo, Baby T, Odarley, Poison were all victims of parental neglect.

4. Superstition

The novel shows how strongly held superstitious beliefs affect society’s perception. It was believed that Maa Tsuru’s predicament was as a result of the curse placed on her at birth. Maa Tsuru herself believed this. Faceless illustrates the fact that superstitious beliefs often becloud people’s sense of judgment.

5. Failed Governance

The author portrays the weakness of government institutions and lack of confidence in the system. MUTE had to open investigations into Baby T’s case because the police authorities were not interested in the matter. The police authorities lacked basic work tools due to years of neglect by the government.

NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE

The author’s narration is straightforward. She tells Baby T’s story mainly through Fofo and investigations by MUTE. Her style of writing is simple and easy to understand. In unravelling the mystery behind Baby T’s death, the author builds tension in her story line thus creating suspense and intrigue.

LANGUAGE

The author uses simple, everyday English language with some Ghanaian vernacular to portray the culture of her people. Examples are words like Kayayoo (porter), akpeteshie etc.

By Dayo Okubule…http://www.bookstomydoor.com/faceless-by-amma-darko/

FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO…NOTES ON CHARACTERS/CHARACTERIZATION FOR WAEC/NECO/JAMB EXAMS

Characters1

Fofo

Fofo is the fourth child of Maa Tsuru. She is fourteen years old and lives on the street. She is a dreamer and would often drift away in her own world of fantasy. She is quite brave and intelligent. She tactfully resists Poison’s rape attempt and disguises as boy to protect herself from further assault by Poison and his gang. Through her character, the reader gets more insight into the circumstances surrounding Baby T’s death.

Baby T

Faceless revolves mostly around Baby T and the circumstances leading to her death. She was Maa Tsuru’s third child and Fofo’s elder sister. She got defiled early by Kpakpo and thereafter by Onko whom she trusted. She was sold into prostitution through Kpakpo’s gimmicks. A victim of parental neglect like her sister Fofo, Baby T’s badly beaten and mutilated body was found behind a kiosk in Agbogbloshie market.

Maa Tsuru

Maa Tsuru is the mother of Fofo and Baby T. She was born under very grave circumstances and like everyone around her, she believed that she suffered from a curse stemming from the circumstances of her birth. Her two lovers (Kwei and Kpakpo) were absent fathers. They walked out on her leaving her to take care of the children, a responsibility she performed very poorly. Ravaged by poverty and being a victim of neglect herself, she craved for love but got entangled with irresponsible men.

Poison

Poison is a street lord and leader of a prostitution ring to which Baby T was sold. Feared by all, Poison assaulted Baby T before her death and almost raped Fofo. He also tried to interfere with MUTE’s investigations as he did not want Baby T’s true identity to be revealed. A victim of abuse and neglect, Poison enjoyed inflicting pain on others. The author uses his character to show that with male children, streetism takes a different twist as it makes them almost irredeemable.

Kabria

The wife of Adade and mother of three energetic children, Kabria worked with MUTE, a non-governmental agency and lived in a decent neighbourhood in Accra which contrasted sharply to the situation in Sodom and Gomorrah. With a problematic car called Creamy, she tried to combine career with her responsibilities as wife and mother. She was instrumental to Fofo’s rehabilitation and contributed in no small measure to unraveling the mystery surrounding Baby T’s death.

Odarley

Odarley was Fofo’s friend and confidant. Like Fofo, she lived on the street having been neglected and sent out of the house by her mother.

Onko

Onko lived in the same compound as Maa Tsuru. In a compound that reeked of poverty, Onko was portrayed as a man of means who gave generously. He took advantage of Baby T and defiled her. He bribed Maa Tsuru who kept quiet over the issue. His business suffered a downturn thereafter. He committed suicide after Baby T’s death. The author uses his character to buttress the fact that children are mostly defiled by adults who are close to them.

Kpakpo

Kpakpo was Maa Tsuru’s dubious, jobless and unscrupulous lover. He deceived Maa Tsuru and masterminded Baby T’s sale into prostitution. He also aided Onko’s visit to Baby T leading to the latter’s death.

By Dayo Okubule…http://www.bookstomydoor.com/faceless-by-amma-darko/

Characters/Characterization

Characters 2

This is the list of characters (dramatis personae) in Faceless which could be divided into major and minor characters.

MAJOR CHARACTERS
* Fofo
* Kabria
* Maa Tsuru
* Baby T
* Dina
* Kwei
* Kpakpo
* Adade
MINOR CHARACTERS
* Macho
* Poison
* Maami Broni
* Mama Abidjan
* Sylv Po
* Aggie
* Vickie
* Odarley
* Obea
* Essie
* Ottu
* Ms. Kamame

Characterization 1

1. Fofo

She is the 14 year old daughter of Maa Tsuru and sister to the deceased Baby T. she stopped schooling at a very tender age due to lack of finance. She could be termed as the heroine of the novel. Fofo is very outspoken, kind, caring and hardworking. Despite the fact that she is compelled to go onto the streets by the mere presence of Kpakpo, she perseveres by finding a menial job to do. Her life at a point in time is paralyzed by the fear of the thick-set leader Macho and Poison the street lord. It is through the courage of Fofo that the mystery behind baby t’s death is unleashed. After she experiences the harsh ups and downs of a street child, she undergoes rehabilitation.

2. Kabria

Kabria is a married woman who has to shoulder her responsibility of caring for her home together with being competent at her workplace. She faces the difficulties of managing her career with her first responsibility of being a mother and Adade. She has three children namely : Obea ,Essie And Ottu. Kabria is very loving, patient and sympathetic. Saves Fofo from being lynched at Agbogbloshie market when she tries picking her. She works at MUTE organization and in collaboration with Harvest Fm, they go on an adventure to unravel the mystery surrounding sssBaby T’s death. She treats everyone as part of her family even ‘creamy’ her battered old VW beetle car.

3. Maa Tsuru
Mother
of Fofo and siblings. It is believed that she is cursed by her mother when she was being given birth to. She herself is a product of the streets and cares less if her offsprings become a nuisance to society. Maa Tsuru is a “free for all”, easily deceived, and makes her children go onto the devouring jaws of the streets. She sells Baby T indirectly into prostitution. Very quick-tempered. However, Maa Tsuru is remorseful and caring.

4. Baby T

Daughter of Maa Tsuru,16 years of age. She is very kind and lovely. A great teacher she is as Fofo learns to pick-pocket from her. She is an innocent girl who is raped by her uncle Onko and her step-father Kpakpo. She is killed as a result of the connivance between Onko, Poison and Maami Broni.

http://reyliterature.blogspot.com.ng/2014/08/commentary-on-faceless.html