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Unprofessional teachers detrimental to educational progress, says Soyombo

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Ronke Soyombo


Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, has warned against the dangers of allowing 19th Century teachers in a 21st century educational scene.

Soyombo, who spoke during a two-day African education conference, organised by the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), with the theme, “The sustainable development goals education target: Facts and fictions,” cautioned that education is still very myopic in the hands of such group of teachers, emphasising that efforts must be made to transform and integrate them into the 21st Century techniques of teaching.She said for the nation to witness the human capital development it desired, we must all go back to the drawing board and ensure we get it right with our teaching and learning.

There is need for quality and quantitative education. We must benchmark our children with other children of the 21st Century. We have produced graduates that are not suitable for today’s jobs. We must join hands with AFED schools to lift public education.”

A 21st Century teacher, she said, allows pupils to practice what they have learnt, interact and liaise with one another; teaches them how to think and not what to think; allow them to take ownership of education; teaches them how to convey their ideas; and promotes literacy.

“He or she also integrates critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication into teaching methodology. Any teacher that ignores these four C’s is not a teacher and can hardly impact learners. We are looking for 21st Century teachers that will use a lot of open-ended questions, not the one that dictates.”

Commending AFED schools for their achievements so far, she advised them to focus on promoting literacy, networking with other schools with a view to adopting best practices.

The two-day conference held at the Ade Ajayi Auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), featured paper presentations by various technocrats. The speakers highlighted the need for quality delivery of basic education in the country.President of the association, Mr. Emmanuel Orji, said they had brought a lot of improvement to member schools, pledging to deepen their presence in the north in the next three years.

“We shall focus on deepening our presence in the North to actualise the vision in the policy document of the United Nations on SDG4. This section of the policy document has a clear provision for an all-inclusive education for all. While we are committed to this, the government and other agencies remain the only enabler of operational environment. We, therefore, call on the government to be ready to accommodate the document that may emanate from this august occasion.”Stressing that the current number of out-of-school children is alarming, he announced that every stakeholder must be involved, as neglecting such figure might spell doom for the nation.


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