Empowering Future Ambitions For Children in Underserved Communities

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon. Some are not even born with a wooden spoon, let alone a silver or gold spoon. Those who are privileged to come from rich or middle class families oftentimes have access to the basic amenities of life and have their needs provided without any level of struggle. On the other hand, a child that is born into a poor or struggling home environment, finds him or herself faced with tough setbacks and challenges . For these children, their hope for a brighter future begins with access to quality education. Concerned by tough setbacks and challenges facing under-privileged children in the society and the need to offer them an opportunity to a secured future, Bridge Nigeria is not only providing children in underserved communities in Lagos and Osun states life changing education, but also offering the platform that puts them on a pathway to future success, irrespective of their socio-economic background.

Bridge uses a teaching and learning approach that involves age-appropriate learning, by adapting to a child’s level of understanding, identifying the readiness of a child to learn, and then following the best-suited method of teaching. Consequently, this personable approach has led many pupils from low-income families to earn grades that mark highly even on a national standard.

Many Bridge pupils from less privileged backgrounds have scored top marks that have led to further educational opportunities. These include scoring near-perfect scores at the National Common Entrance Examination, and receiving scholarships to aspirational secondary schools.

Importance of primary education: real life stories

A visit to a typical Bridge community shows children who are faced with unique but related difficulties and whose lives are being transformed by the education at Bridge, giving them hope to look beyond their prevailing socio-economic circumstances and dream of a better and brighter future.

10-year old, Pwaakadi Sebastian

Bridge pupil, Pwaakadi Sebastian, joined Bridge Rahimi Oyo Academy in Morogbo Badagry, after relocating to Lagos from Borno, in the north east part of the country. Unfortunately for Pwaakadi and her sister, Divine, their education was affected due to the insurgency, and so, they were out of school. A church member, Mrs. Veronica Okwolo, whose children attend the same school, introduced Pwaakadi’s parents to Bridge and enrolled them at the school, having witnessed the transformational education provided by the school to her children. Mrs Okwolo  recounted how her daughter who is now in secondary school lacked self confidence and needed support before she joined Bridge and how she saw immediate impact within a year of enrolling her at Bridge. According to the parent, Mr Sebastian,

 “Pwaakadi could not communicate effectively before she came to Lagos. Now, her numeracy and literacy skills have really improved, she reads all by herself and does her homework herself. All thanks to Bridge teaching methods.” He said.

Ways of improving education in Nigeria

Bridge provides all round support to all the Bridge nursery and primary schools located across Lagos and Osun state through a full-fledged support office team. Examples of the support range from the curriculum development and instructional design through learning innovation and interventions by the Academics team, to the oversight management of all the Bridge academies by the School team to drive learning outcomes while the Learning and Development team provides coaching support and continuous training for teachers to develop new skills to aid effective teaching and learning.

In addition, the Operations team ensures that there are learning materials in the classrooms and pupils are learning in a conducive environment, the IT team also ensures the wireless technology being utilized at Bridge continues to deliver great results. For instance, the Bridge teacher guides don’t just display lessons, they also record attendance and assessment scores and track lesson pacing and pupil comprehension in near real time. While the smartphone application allows Academy Managers to seamlessly sync their academy’s tablets, pupil and teacher attendance, tuition payments, instructional monitoring, and more.

Quality education helps individuals transcend their limitations. Opportunities that they never imagined before would now become possible. It is through education that one can withstand the rigour of facing the challenges of life. As a result of the accelerated learning at Bridge, these children can now aspire to become doctors, engineers, scientists etc and look beyond their socio economic limitations. And this is only possible because of the life changing education at Bridge.