Inoyo Toro Foundation held a training session for teachers of the public secondary schools on the 27th and 28th of August 2020. The training is in line with her vision “to uplift the standard of education in Akwa Ibom State, using teachers for as the focal point”. Schools closure, which was as a result of the pandemic, was an additional inspiration for the well received training. Participation in the training session was made a part condition for participation in subsequent awards processes being organized by the Foundation.
A total of 144 teachers registered for the training. The live stream had teachers tuned in across the Zoom and Facebook Live Platform.. 80% of the teachers who tuned in were from the public secondary schools.
The theme for the training was “The Resilient Teacher”. This topic was carefully selected to appeal to the current hardship the education sector has had to encounter as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. A return to classroom was of key concern to the Foundation, especially having envisaged that many teachers would have lost steam as a result of the long period of the closure of schools. Lectures from the 2 day training were put in place to remind teachers of their responsibilities and how to adapt in the face of unforeseen occurrences.
A brief welcome and introduction by Mrs. Imo Bassey, Program Manager of the Foundation, set the tone for the novel training. A total of 4 lecturers featured at the training. Each training day had two lecturers speaking on specific areas related to the theme of the training.
The topics discussed were as follows:
This was delivered by Engr. Paul Nkune, founder of Code Express Abuja. This topic was to buttress the fact that technology had come to stay and the teachers in the public schools will need to accept that. Practical ways of integrating technology into their teaching was shown to them.
The Resilient Teacher
This was another topic taken by Dr. Abimbola Ogundere, CEO LAIT Foundation and Author of the book “The Right Teacher”. She educated the teachers on what it means to be resilient. She pointed out basic steps on achieving resilience, what was expected of them as teachers and how to go about them. She also emphasized the importance of self-care.
The Post COVID Child
This topic threw more light on the types of students that will be returning back to school. It further stressed that the pandemic had hit people differently and thus teachers had to be more sensitive to the students upon their return to school. She pointed out the red flags teachers had to look out for in children and the need to understand how to go around these ones, in order to effectively teach them. Mrs. Chidinma Abiakalam, a childhood consultant and Mental health trainer based in Lagos took the teachers on that training.
Health Safety and Education in our Schools
This was the last topic of the 2-day training. It ended on a high note as teachers were told that safety was everyone’s responsibility not governments’ alone, hence the need to brace up and think through practical methods that may be adopted to keep the students safe when school resumes. Practical steps on disinfecting surfaces, keeping hands clean and other hygiene methods were shared with the teachers. This training was delivered by Mrs Evelyn Ekarika, a Medical Laboratory Scientist and Proprietor of Blooms ‘n Daisies School, Calabar.
The training was a huge success as the teachers were excited to be part of it. 52% of teachers attested to the fact that it was their very first zoom training whilst 48% of them had a previous experience on the use of zoom. A lot of the teachers who were technophobic were forced to try out their hands on the virtual space and they were thankful they found their way around it. The teachers also expressed gratitude for the wealth of information they were exposed to and vowed to utilize it effectively.
The webinar training of the Foundation has come to stay and this will be done from time to time in order to constantly equip and create a pool of effective teachers who will positively impact their students.