Teachers at Bridge Academies are the Backbone of Pupils’ Success

As stakeholders around the world celebrate 2021 World Teachers Day with focus on the theme “Teachers at the heart of global education recovery”, one education organisation that ensures equity for all learners and demonstrates firsthand that the teachers who are at the heart of education recovery can change lives if supported effectively is Bridge Nigeria.

Bridge, a network of community schools in Lagos and Osun State ensures that teachers are trained, supported and empowered with resources that enable them to teach effectively and for pupils to learn. At Bridge we understand the importance of teachers, and our teachers are constantly taken through an improvement process for the advancement of the learner’s future.

Since the launch of the UN’s World Teachers Day 25 years ago to galvanize global efforts to help teachers, millions of teachers are still without the support and training they need to succeed. Consequently, more than half of all young people in the world have not attained the basic reading and math skills needed to build prosperous futures for themselves and their communities. A joint statement issued by UNICEF, UNESCO, ILO etc to celebrate the 2021 teachers day calls on countries to invest in teachers and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher.

Roles of a teacher in the community

Teacher Munirat Isiaka teaching primary 4 pupils at Bridge Owolabi Balogun Academy

Foyinsola Akinjayeju, Managing Director at Bridge Nigeria understands the importance of teachers in students life and said, “Teachers play a significant role in shaping young people’s lives and the future of their countries so it’s one of the most important jobs in the world. Every teacher needs adequate support and professional development and many teachers are not getting that. The stakes for not doing this right could not be higher at this time of recovery from COVID-19.”

Akinjayeju added that “ At Bridge, we invest in our teachers because we know that they can be more effective if they are equipped with the resources, techniques and support designed to improve learning outcomes. We know how to deliver better teacher training and support leading to more effective classrooms. Unless governments and others take urgent action, the UN Goal of quality education for all by 2030 looks very unlikely to be reached.”

A teacher who was recently trained at the Bridge residential training programme,  Peter Udeme from Ikorodu in Lagos said that despite his many years in the teaching profession, it was after his extensive training on-the-job that he has been able to inspire his pupils to their full potential.

“Now I have people around me to coach me, I have many resources that are just right for me and for the children, and I have regular feedback on my pedagogy. All this has made me a star teacher.” He said.

Also speaking, a teacher from Bridge Oloto Academy in Ojo, Emmanuel Akomolafe, highlighted that the use of the Bridge teacher tablet has procedures to help teachers impact pupils that have learning challenges. “This new method of teaching gives a teacher the procedure to teach pupils who know nothing at all, especially those who have never been to school. It gives them this kind of growth from being blank minded to being knowledgeable through the lessons in the tablets which are prepared by experts,” he said.

During the pandemic, teachers were at the centre of education responses, Bridge provided remote learning resources that ensured that children continued to learn while they were at home. When the right teacher support, training and motivation is in place, their potential becomes performance. The substance of the teacher is what makes the teacher great.