Impacting students, teachers with Fast Forward Project
Participants, made up of about 1,000 students and 300 teachers were beneficiaries of Fast Forward Project Initiative, funded by MacArthur Foundation and British Council, with the support of LEAP Africa and TEP Centre.
The Fast Forward Project is a pilot scheme that tested work-based learning model for teaching employability skills in public secondary schools in Nigeria.
It is aimed at enhancing classroom engagement, preparing students for both post-secondary education and the workplace and encouraging collaboration between schools, students and employers.
The project, which started in July 2016 and ran until December 2017 afforded students the opportunity to embark on a two-week internship training at designated organisations, where they acquired skills on communication, critical thinking, problem solving, values, vision, time management, leadership, confidence level and goal-setting among others.
The initiative also trained 300 teachers and school administrators during the Training of Trainers (TOT) project, which also lasted for two weeks, with the aim of making them more innovative while also equipping them with work-readiness and employability skills for day-to-day teaching exercises.
Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Tamunosisi Jaja, described the initiative as a productive and timely one “I will describe the programme as worthwhile and timely considering the fact that the educational sector in Nigeria is below expectation and assessment.
If we take a look at the sector, it will be difficult to define what kind of system the country is running today.
During my time it was 6-5-4; we moved from there to 6-3-3-4 and, all of a sudden, we heard about the 9-5-4 system and then 1-6-3-3-4. Now, we are talking about 10-3-4.
It is, however, unfortunate that most of our students now read to pass examinations only. Ask a fresh graduate some questions on the subject he or she had just left some months ago, you find out that the person has forgotten. This goes to show that we don’t have a strong system of education in our country.
“I believe with the intervention of the British Council, some of our teachers and students will be able to define and rediscover themselves and their skills.