Thursday, 1st June 2023

Shaping the future with Senator Abiru’s innovation lab

By Olawunmi Ojo
09 April 2023   |   3:14 am
“My exposure to the inquiry-based method of teaching has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and planning. With my knowledge of Google Slides, Render Forest, In-shot, Legend, Canva, and 2D and 3D Animation, I have learned better ways to develop and use instructional materials in my classroom.

Some members of the Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship after their graduation from the Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL)

“My exposure to the inquiry-based method of teaching has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and planning. With my knowledge of Google Slides, Render Forest, In-shot, Legend, Canva, and 2D and 3D Animation, I have learned better ways to develop and use instructional materials in my classroom. Also, my engagement with students has given them more opportunities to think, reflect and own ideas on topics and issues. It has also improved their abilities as individual learners.

“My experience in the programme was very educative, engaging, and impactful. I want to thank all the facilitators, for their innovative ways of teaching us. I often engage my colleagues on the new ideas learnt from the programme. I recommend the Lagos East Teachers Fellowship to all teachers in Ikorodu and Lagos State.”

These were words of Adedeji Owoyade, one of the valedictorians of Cohort 2, Non-STEM Group I of the Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship, on graduating from the Senator Abiru Innovation Lab (SAIL), a first-of-its-kind Community Innovation Space, set up in partnership with renowned technology and social enterprise company, The Co-creation Hub (Cc-HUB).

In his quest to continue building capacity of his constituents on various fronts so they lead more productive lives, Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru had set up SAIL to train youths in the Lagos East senatorial district in relevant digital and innovation skills and build the best entrepreneurs that can compete in an ever-dynamic global economy.

Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship is one of the leading cutting-edge programmes at SAIL. At commencement, teachers, numbering over 1,500, applied for training. 950 got enrolled for the online class for 30 days while 120 outstanding applicants were admitted into the physical class.

Last week, 105 of 120 teachers in public and private schools across Lagos East, who enrolled for the 2022 Class of the Lagos East Teachers Fellowship at SAIL, graduated after successfully completing their training that lasted for over three months.

Owoyade, who teaches Government at Epe Senior Grammar School, Epe, Lagos State, believes that the Teachers’ Fellowship has greatly impacted him as a classroom teacher.

Sobowale Adefolahan Olusesan, another graduate, expressed appreciation to Abiru for his premium on human capital development, such that teachers are now able to learn new pedagogies and improve the learning outcomes for students.

On another hand, Blessing Osoba, a Biology teacher at Olomu Community Senior Secondary School, Ibeju-Lekki, opined that, “with a lot of hands-on training in digital learning applications such as Render Forest, In-shot, Canva, and Legend for instructional designs as well as materials to facilitate learning, my experience in the Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship has been truly rewarding for my career. In addition, using digital labs, Google Classroom and Quiz has been a game changer for me, helping me engage learners in better exploration of scientific concepts and assess my learners’ understanding.”

Qudus Bello, a Further Mathematics teacher from Community Senior High School, Orimedu, on his part, was able to master the art of inquiry-based learning and apply it to deepen his students’ imaginations and boost their creativity. This was in addition to his exposure to using a digital laboratory as instructional material for science practicals, which he confirmed has improved learning experience and outcomes.

Addressing the graduands, Abiru, congratulated the teachers on the successful completion of their training and admonished them to impact their students with the skills they have acquired.

Abiru, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Constituency Matters, Dr (Otunba) Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle, urged the teachers to explore various teaching methods in improving learning outcomes in their students and tasked them to adopt continuous capacity development as a lifestyle.

In his opening remarks, the SAIL Project Consultant, Deji Abisola, said “the Lagos East Teachers Fellowship has provided an invaluable platform for educators to learn, grow, and develop their skills,” adding that the graduates have been trained in Inquiry-based learning, a cutting-edge pedagogical approach that encourages students to actively engage with the learning process.

The dynamic method, Abisola noted, is designed to stimulate curiosity and foster critical thinking, preparing young minds for the challenges of tomorrow.

“In addition to inquiry-based learning, our graduates from the Lagos East Teachers’ Fellowship have also been equipped with the knowledge and tools to integrate technology into their classrooms effectively. This is particularly significant, as we live in a rapidly evolving digital age where technology has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. By embracing the use of technology in education, we are opening doors to a myriad of opportunities that will enhance the learning experiences of our students and ultimately, shape the future of our society.”

Abisola also announced the launch of Ikorodu Teachers Lounge. According to him, the lounge would be a virtual community to further deepen knowledge sharing and interaction among teachers who passed through the SAIL.

“Today, we have the pleasure of launching the Ikorodu Teachers’ Lounge. This innovative space, made possible by the visionary leadership of Senator Abiru through his endowment pillar platform, the TACT Foundation, will serve as a hub for educators to connect, collaborate, and share best practices with one another. The Ikorodu Teachers’ Lounge is a testament to our commitment to fostering a strong community of educators who are dedicated to the continuous improvement of teaching and learning,” Abisola said.

Practice Lead, Education (re:learn), Chinyelu Akpa, who represented the CcHub, thanked the Senator for the opportunity provided for the teachers.

Speaking on the Ikorodu Teachers’ Lounge initiative, Akpa said, “The lounge gives all registered teachers the avenue to use the SAIL Lab for study, work and research between 3pm and 5pm. Every Friday, teachers’ community events are packaged towards the development of Lagos East Teachers.”

Meanwhile, the SAIL has called for applications for the 2023 cohort, urging teachers in public and private schools in Lagos East to apply.

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