At Czech Nigeria Education Fair, the importance of creativity (poetry, writing, art) in the promotion of an interactive learning in schools is paramount and particular, to kick-starting environmental discuss in the academia.
Contending with issues of poor remuneration, unpaid salaries and a passive education system, it is difficult to motivate teachers to go the extra mile required to make classroom learning interactive, much less the added responsibility of engaging students in an interactive environmental discuss.
However, reducing the staggering level of environmental degradation in our society requires an early and fast engagement of the new generation to understanding the dangers of environmental degradation and its impact on the earth’s climes.
Therefore, at the fair, targeted towards students and teachers (from three schools), organizers first, highlighted ways to enhance an interactive learning space, before tailoring activities to promoting interactive environmental studies in schools.
Practical show-rather-than-tell approach through students’ and teachers’ workshops were held, as proof that interactive learning beats memorizing and, encourages independent learning among students.
Students were divided based on interests to draw, craft poetry and or draft an essay on what they view as environmental issues in their respective residential areas. In such interactive environment teachers talked about their challenges and swapped solutions to creating an interactive learning space. Popular suggestions ranged from teachers picking up second jobs to boost salaries, to updating lesson plans every school year, and creating as much learning environment as possible in their own capacity.
To kick-start environmental discuss in classrooms, teachers were encouraged to think about the history and future of products consumed and how they are disposed. Environmental artist, Ifesinachi Nwanyanwu, encouraged educators to engage students in such discussions to encourage recycling, reuse and proper disposal of waste both at homes and schools. Music and poetry were also promoted as successful means of engaging students interest o topical issues. Okechukwu Iweala, advocated use of music and poetry to address environmental issues of a community in global scale to create impact. Idris Abdullahi, participant and coach at Power Forward, an initiative of AfriCare, funded by National Basketball Association (USA), and ExxonMobil, says student athletes under the initiative while coached in basketball and learning relevant life skills, are encouraged to actively participate in environmental projects such as communities’ clean-ups and tree planting.
Taking a different approach at the event, Tangent Hub, an initiative of Ghraizi & Partners, targeted participating students interest in environment. It aims to evaluate students’ perception and knowledge of environmental issues, via its essay competition, and sustain it. Rosaline Agiamoh says, they can either solve the identified environmental issues or award cash prizes to winners. With the help of its partners, students’ environmental interests will be supported via scholarships.
With such initiative, sustainability is key to creating the change sought in Nigeria’s education system. Marie Novotna of the Czech Embassy says it is a gradual process. Thus, Novotna says the event birthed a ‘monthly teachers workshop’ to aid teachers to employ interactive approaches to all subjects. “This pilot series focused on environment. Others will look at interactive approach to history, science and other subjects of studies.”