Education Infrastructure News & Reports SPECIAL REPORT

N6 bn Infrastructure & education re-engineering plan is the game changer for Pry schools in Lagos

Teachers are at the heart of successful learning. Introducing new training models to support and empower them will impact pupil and teacher success. The EkoEXCEL training is both up-front and on-the-job, throughout the year.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (right), interacting with teachers during his visit to the ongoing teachers training tagged: ‘‘EKO EXCEL’’ (Excellence In Child Education and Learning) at CMS School Complex, Ilaje, Bariga, on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

The effectiveness of both the learning and teaching components of an educational activity is demonstrated by the ability of the learner to perform the tasks required in the practice of their profession, trade, or other endeavours and as specified in the established learning objectives and outcomes. 

EkoEXCEL was introduced at that early age to provide enriched learning experiences that bring the pupils into closer involvement with the physical universe and society. The objective of enhanced efficiency is to achieve desired learning outcomes with reduced financial cost and personnel time. 

A re-engineered educational activity uses contemporary technology, appropriately developed learning materials, media, references, and resources that can be used for individual study or as a tool for learning facilitators (teachers).

All over the world, education is a key driver to national development and societal growth. As such, the Governor of Lagos State has decided to reform the basic education sector as a prerequisite of achieving sustainable growth. The Governor has identified more highly skilled teaching and technology as the key drivers of the state’s education reform process.

The Lagos State Government sees an urgent need to improve teacher quality and performance, increase numeracy and literacy levels among the pupils and improve support required for the process of school administration and management. Primary school teachers went through a 2 weeks training process, organised by the State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) to increase capacity and develop manpower of teachers in the State. At the end, over 14,000 primary school teachers would have benefited from the initiative while over 500,000 pupils would have been positively impacted.

Hon Wahab Olawale Alawiye King, Lagos SUBEB Chairman

A fundamental element is better methodology for teachers. The teachers will become more skillful in helping children to learn in a positive environment.

Lagos EXCEL  is comprised of 5 pillars: 1 – Systems strengthening and organisational development; 2 – Teacher professional development and Quality assurance; 3 – Curriculum development and learning outcomes; 4 – Community engagement and partnerships; 5 – School infrastructure and facilities.

The objectives of the Lagos EXCEL are to enhance the Lagos State Basic Education curriculum thereby empowering children to compete effectively in the world of work; to leapfrog  basic education delivery systems by leveraging technology across all the value chain of education provision; to leverage technology to gather and utilize accurate and timely data to drive policy and planning decisions; to invest in strengthening the institution that supports the delivery of Basic Education in Lagos State; and to restore public confidence in the quality of basic education in Lagos State.

Cross section of teachers during the ongoing training programme tagged: ‘‘EKO EXCEL’’ (Excellence In Child Education And Learning) at CMS School Complex, Ilaje, Bariga, on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

The programme is enhancing the Lagos State Basic Education Curriculum and restoring public confidence in the quality of education offered in public schools.

“As a responsible government, we will continue the massive investment in this sector, with the training and retraining of our teachers, making the sector more ICT compliant, exposing our teachers to international best practices as well as ensuring that our schools become a destination for work and learning”.

With the EKOEXCEL Programme, over 14,000 Head Teachers and teachers will be moved from analogue to digital teaching, using tablets and updated curriculum. Over 3,000 primary school teachers from 300 public primary schools have been captured under the Pilot Scheme.

EkoEXCEL is a government designed, funded and led programme. Lagos state is driving excellence in learning for about 500,000 pupils across 1016 primary schools through EkoEXCEL. Over 14 thousand government teachers would be re-trained and upskilled through EkoEXCEL. Leveraging technology will enable teachers and headmasters to be more effective. They’ll also be supported through in-person and on-going coaching.1,016 head teachers will receive one-on-one coaching and support. The quality assurance team will be supported with digital tools. Teachers are at the heart of successful learning. Introducing new training models to support and empower them will impact pupil and teacher success. The EkoEXCEL training is both up-front and on-the-job, throughout the year.

As Lagos aspires to being a 21st century economy and maintain its position as a leading economy in Africa, a critical investment in basic education is required to build the quality workforce needed for the future. More importantly, Lagos, like other cities, is unequivocal in its commitment to equity, closing the gap between the rich and the poor by ensuring access to quality education for all.

The Lagos State Government sees an urgent need to improve teacher quality and performance, increase numeracy and literacy levels among the pupils and improve support required for the process of school administration and management.

The Bridge International is a technical partner to SUBEB. The Bridge is providing training and consulting support for the Lagos EXCEL Program’s Pillar 2 – Teacher Development and Curriculum Support. It is working with Lagos State SUBEB to leverage its technology and curriculum to support teachers to succeed and deliver quality lessons using the Nigerian Curriculum.

Lagos EXCEL is a SUBEB led initiative and Bridge’s role is to provide technology support for teaching and learning. Bridge is working with SUBEB and the Education team to build local capacity for delivering on all other pillars leveraging technology. Bridge for the last 10 years has developed world class teaching materials and technology enabled curriculum and has used this in Public and private schools alike. Bridge runs over 64 schools in 3 states in Nigeria including Borno State. Bridge’s content is developed in collaboration with local Nigerian teachers to ensure that it fits well with the Nigerian Education’s unique environment.

The Lagos State Government has designed the programme as a 4-year programme. It commences in December 2019

Social Mobilisation Officers are to lead on relations between the schools and their local communities.Each school has a  School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) to oversee each school. Quality Assurance personnel oversee the performance of teachers. Each officer oversees ten schools. Each school has a PTA.

Bridge’s role is to re-train existing government teachers to use a new child-centred teaching philosophy, classroom management techniques, curriculum and grade level aligned textbooks and the use of technology to support government teachers through the provision of teaching guides.

*Lagos Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results (Lagos STAR) programme is a hands-on teacher training initiative under the framework of the Governor’s reform agenda for basic education aptly tagged Lagos EXCEL (Lagos Basic Education Sector Transformation). Lagos prioritises teacher training and with the deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to classrooms, pupils are sure to get the EXCEL from public schools.

In the first year of the programme 5,000 government teachers – experienced and novice – and 600 head teachers to be re-trained and upskilled from 600 public primary schools, impacting 5,000 pupils.

The  Bridge will provide the Lagos-EXCEL initiative with training and support to teachers so that they are better equipped to deliver the Nigerian national curriculum through quality lessons, manage their classrooms effectively and succeed; learning resources and materials including textbooks, independent study books, individual homework books, and learning aids; Technology supported management system that will help administrators be more effective managers and attain greater learning outcomes in your schools, wards, in your local government.

Selected teachers will be trained on hands-on training experience on modern classroom management technique and the use of technology to deliver content in the classroom. The Bridge won’t be re-writing Lagos state’s textbooks, rather it will supporting Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board with new textbooks written by local curriculum experts based on the Nigerian syllabus. The Lagos-EXCEL classes will use textbooks for pupils to read and complete work from. Three pupils share one textbook, and this allows the pupils to be engaged and learn.

Lagos EXCEL teachers will be given lesson guides written by local curriculum experts. The lesson guides provide teachers with step-by-step instructions on how to teach each lesson most effectively. Teachers will receive a lesson guide for every single lesson they teach. Teachers are expected to follow the lesson guides closely for every class. This is to make sure that pupils receive the maximum amount of instruction possible each day. These lesson guides are delivered to teachers each day on a special tablet that each teacher uses during their lessons.

There are 1126 Primary schools in Lagos State. In April 2018, 7,000 government teachers – experienced and novice – and 845 headmasters were re-trained and upskilled from 600 public primary schools, impacting 150,000 pupils. The second batch of training has just taken place in April 2019, which saw another 6,000 government teachers and 600 headmasters re-trained and upskilled; impacting  270,000 children. This will be done in batches until all the teachers and headmasters in the 1126 primary and junior secondary schools in the state are trained and empowered.

The training is not a competence test for the teachers, rather it is part of the grand design to reposition public education in Lagos State, reposition the method of teaching to meet demands of 21st century and restore public confidence in the school system.

The ultimate goal is for Lagos State teachers is to be empowered and be able to deliver at the same level as their counterparts around the world as well as accelerate the reading and literacy skills of Lagos children.

In Lagos State there are about 1 million school aged children. There is a high dropout rate leading to increased of out of school children. Lagos EXCEL aims to reduce the number of out-of-school children in Lagos State and restore Lagos State education to the position of excellence it once was.

Lagos state has issued an RFP to get external evaluators to measure the programme.

Indications are it is working. There was an internal study of the 30 EkoEXCEL pilot schools in the first term of the programme, commissioned by the State Government, learning gains were positive.

Pupils learned more, spent more time learning, worked harder, and experienced a more positive classroom environment. Girls in EkoEXCEL schools outperformed all other pupils. This equates to nearly three-quarters of a year more maths instruction and nearly two-thirds of a year more literacy instruction.

Director of Bridge Policy and Partnership for Africa,  Adesuwa Ifedi, said: “We are delighted to be helping the Lagos government improve teaching and education. The place of technology in ensuring better outcomes in schools is incontrovertible, assuring that the Lagos-EXCEL programme will solve some problems of inconsistency in teaching standards.

“Every other sector is using technology, education must change, teachers must follow suit; teachers are nation builders. With the use of digital lesson plans, teachers can work with prepared lesson plan to ease their burden and give more time to supervise the children and manage their classrooms.”

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