BY DAYO ADESULU
Challenged by the low quality graduates in the teaching profession and its consequences on school children, Corona School has introduced what it called âi-Teachâ programme to develop best graduates in various disciplines of teaching profession.
Speaking at the media parley, the Executive Director, Corona Schoolsâ Trust Council, Mrs Olufunto Igun said: âCorona i-Teach Program is a 21st century teacher development and recruitment programme which is intended to attract our nationâs most promising best graduates and future leaders into the teaching profession.â
According to her, a significant area that has and continue to pose a serious challenge to schools is the dearth of trained, technically qualified teachers adding that experience shows that the best graduates are not in the teaching profession where they should belong.
âWe feel strongly that it is critical that we change this and enthuse these talents with the attractiveness of teaching as a viable, profitable and noble career,â she said
She said, the objectives of the programme are to re-establish the dignity of the teaching profession in Nigeria by attracting qualified trainable youth who will be ready to impact studentsâ academic achievement in a positive way; re-skilling graduate entrants into the profession, equipping them with higher order skills for an effective teaching and learning process.
Others are, to institute a teacher pipeline for the future and ensure maintenance of standards of the Trust Council and education in Nigeria and to draw into the teaching profession dynamic individuals well prepared with workplace and professional values to impact our children and ultimately the nation.
The director, who sees the gesture as a way of giving back to the society said that Corona sees the initiative as part of their corporate social responsibility by providing the platform for a wide spectrum core teacher and personal development training. Igun, however noted that there are several built in evaluation processes in the programme.
Nevertheless, Igun added that after Corona Schools must have employed the best, base on the schoolâs vacancies, other interested schools could apply for the rest. The programme which was launched in 2011 and lasted for six months said Igun, produced twenty participants who successfully completed the programme. âAll the twenty participants who successfully completed the programme were offered employment by Corona Trust Council and have been contributing meaningfully to the growth of the school,â she said.
Igun pointed out that the second phase of Corona i-Teach programme is patterned after the first and qualified graduates with a second class upper (2-1) who have a passion for teaching are encouraged to explore the world of teaching and become world class professionals.
Leke Amao, an Electrical Electronics graduate who successfully passed the 2011 i-teacher training and now employed at Corona said that being a teacher is a dream come true, adding, âWhile in 300 level, I took interest in teaching and started teaching children with joy. After graduation, he noted that he made up his mind to continue in the teaching profession, which he did.
According to him, in his NYSC year, he also taught as a classroom teacher. Asked if his choice to become a teacher was not out of frustration, Amao said: âMy choice for the i-teacher training in Corona was because it fulfilled my dream to become a professional teacher. First degree is a platform for every other thing in life to develop. Incidentally, the day of our interview also fell on the same day when NNPC also had theirs, but I choose to attend the teaching profession at the expense of the engineering profession.â
On her part, Adeola Adenihun a graduate of International Relations who also made it at the 2011 i-training edition, noted that it is her choice to become a teacher, adding that the Information Communication Technology (ICT) through which Corona teaches will bring out the best from both teachers and students which will help the education sector.
Similarly, Adeiye Oteju, an Economics graduate pointed out that her coming into the teaching profession is not by accident, saying it is one of the best thing that has ever happen to her, as the teaching profession gives her access to continue to learn. She said: âAs a teacher, you have to keep training yourself or else you will become irrelevant to the society. Teachers who will impact positively in studentsâ lives should not stop learning.âVanguard Nigeria