Storytelling for Business and Entertainment

I am excited to be part of this writing class.

Everything sounds much better when the art of storytelling is laced in.

For six weeks we will be on an online journey with both business professionals and artists interested in improving their story form.

The response has been impressive as we get ready to kick things off on the 11th of September, 2018. That’s next Tuesday.

Would you like to join us?

Then click on this link for details; you’ll be glad you did!😊😇🙃

Our GDPR Compliance

Over the years I may have collected some of your personal data and used some personal information while interviewing or writing about people on my blog.

Today, I am aligning my blog and data policy to reflect and meet up with today’s deadline which requires  organizations to incorporate the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR).

The GDPR which dictates how organizations are to handle online business with Europeans and/or EU residents.

To read more about it, please click on this link to the full General Data Protection Regulation.to our website.

Thanks  and have a fantastic weekend!

Nurturing child literacy beyond the classroom

A common saying says a student cannot be better than his teacher. Needless to say, there is need for an overhaul of the education system whether we like it or not.

In December 2017, the government of Kaduna State sacked 21,780 teachers after they failed at Math and literacy competency tests.

The issue of incompetent teachers is not common to Kaduna State alone. A recent statement by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria says that up to 300,000 of the 700,000 teachers in Nigerian schools are not qualified to teach.

The Educational Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) has also spent years scrutinizing Nigeria’s Educational system and has proffered solutions. It said there was need to develop ‘effective planning, financing and delivery systems to improve the quality of schools, teaching and Learning in Enugu, Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara and Lagos.

Imagine then, the quality of students that leave the primary school system each year. A common saying says a student cannot be better than his teacher.  Needless to say, there is need for an overhaul of the education system whether we like it or not.

Parental Role in a Child’s Education

While it is true that many of our teachers are responsible for grooming young minds and preparing them for society, it is important to note that education goes beyond the classroom; parents have a massive role to play. According to a BBC report a good education is ‘…a culmination of school, home tutoring, books and Television programs you’re exposed to.”

In essence, both the child who attends a public school and the one that attends a private school stand the chance of emerging into society with the same level of education as long as parents are supportive and ensure that they have an enabling environment.

A 2012 study published by, Brigham Young University North Carolina State University and the University of California-Irvine, made a similar statement. It said, ‘parental involvement is a more significant factor in a child’s academic performance than the qualities of the school itself.’ Researchers arrived at this conclusion after they evaluated data from over 10,000 US based students. They found that bonds between parents and children such as trust, open lines of communication as well as active engagement in a child’s academic life contributes largely to improving a child’s performance in school.

Television as an Educational tool.

The first episode of Sesame Street, a popular Children’s Television programme, aired in the United States in November 1969. It was initially targeted at 2 to 4 year olds but let’s admit that many an 11 year old has found it to be both educational entertaining. In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell says, that Sesame Street ‘also encouraged lower-income families to play a part in educating their children.”

The Private School Advantage

Tracey Enakeno, a Head Teacher at a Lagos based kindergarten school is passionate about teaching. After over ten years of working in the private school system she agrees that parental involvement is key. ‘I believe most parents underestimate the importance of their input to their children’s education and the overall power of partnership with schools.’ she explains. “A parent’s involvement gives the child the assurance that mommy and daddy thinks what they’re working on is important and as with every other area of their lives, they would always be there to guide them as much as they can.’

Not all parents are have the time for their kids, however. They rely on paid help as well as teachers to teach them or keep them busy after school hours. They can afford to do this for the same reasons they are able to send their children to private school: they have the resources to do so. It is a different story for Parents of pupils in government schools, unfortunately.


Limitation of The Homefront Economy

There is need to be realistic about how much time the parents and children from a low income family can dedicate towards education.

According to UNICEF, ‘Many (Nigerian) children do not attend school because their labour is needed to either help at home or to bring additional income into the family. These children who work suffer from fatigue, irregular attendance at school, lack of comprehension and motivation, improper socialisation…’

Similarly, the International Labour Organization estimates the number of working children under the age of 14 in Nigeria at 15 million. Many of these kids may be able to attend the usual 8 am to 2 pm classes but afterwards they are out contributing their own quota to their family’s income. What this means is this: it is difficult for them to participate in any of the afterschool tasks like doing their homework, reading or participating in extracurricular activities that make their more privileged counterparts better performers.

Levelling the playing field

There is need to remember that all is not lost.

Do government schools offer lower quality education? In most cases

Is there need to overhaul the educational system? Yes, please.

Is the child who attends a government school doomed, then? No he or she is not.

With active involvement that involves you sitting with your child to do homework, watching educational TV programmes, playing  games that improve their cognitive skills and social quotient he/she could be at par with his/her contemporaries at private schools. Tracey Enakeno throws more light on this, “We find more and more each day are parents dropping off their children sleeping and picking them up sleeping. I think teachers need to be appreciated more because they are a made to play both roles and in truth I think a true and passionate teacher actually doesn’t mind one bit.’

As for the quality of teachers, Aisha Biliya, a counsellor with the FCT State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), agrees that there are quack teachers within the educational system. Her recommendation for turning things around are simple:

‘Regular training for teachers, increased salaries, motivation and to cut down on the number of students in the classroom’

This Article was originally published on Pulse.

PVCd and pleased.

I finally got my Permanent Voters Card and feel very accomplished.

Now I can continue to talk about the Leader I want because the struggle to get that card? It was real.

It began at a Secondary School in Zone 2 Abuja in January. The school security guard told me they were yet to see any INEC official there. I was directed to the Central Business District- AMAC- to be precise. After I queued 2 times and didn’t get to the ‘ promised land’ I took a break from the PVC hunt.

I went back in February and was told to go back to Wuse- a secondary school in Zone three , this time. Letme be honest. I took one look at the crowd and didn’t bother. I just left.

Still, you know what they say: Fifth time is the Charm. And now I have my PVC, voting Centre, Candidate and everything all lined up.

Okay that isn’t quite true. I’m still shopping for Candidates.

I’ve just one vote but worth a lot.

Have you registered to vote?

5 Martin Luther King quotes that bring a mental shift

Today is Dr Martin Luther King Junior’s birthday.

As you must know, he was an African American human rights leader, known especially for his ‘ I have a dream’ speech. A speech which has gradually come to fruition and is depicted in the shared amenities between blacks and whites- swimming pools, classrooms, public transportation, homes even. One of the greatest manifestations of his ‘dream’ is the election of Barack Obama, the son of an African immigrant as President of the United States. Dr King must have smiled in his grave on that fateful day in 2008. He had a dream, he spoke the dream and suffered for it but there’s a reason why he kept on:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Here are more Dr King quotes to make you rethink:

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Happy birthday, Dr Martin Luther King! You’re without a doubt the sort of leader we want.Thanks for so much inspiration.

Five quotes that explain why leaders prefer blue and red ties

In high-stakes politics and business, there are only two colors of ties: red and blue-Robert Roy Brit

Dark blue makes us feel like the person wearing it is smart, together, and trustworthy. It’s also the number one color to wear to a job interview and the applicants for president know that. – Kristen Palana

There’s something about red that always comes back to strength and passion.”- Mark Woodman, Trend Analyst

Darker reds, such as a burgundy, can help build trust, while lighter red and pink ties can be more of a statement about your personal style and be associated with creativity. In the last decade, a pink tie can sometimes signal “solidarity with women,” added Woodman.- Alina Dizik

Conveying trust, stability and confidence a blue tie is perfect for client facing or public speaking.  That being said, it’s no coincidence that politicians and salesmen are frequently seen in blue ties. – Sonny Balani

The Leader Austria wants. You?

Photo Credit: CNN

The winds of change in the world of 21st Century politics bring with it a younger vibe into the system.

A 39 year old French man married to a woman twice his age becomes president, and New Zealand is buzzing with the news that Jacinda Ardern is poised to become its new prime minister. In Austria, early results suggest that 31 year old Sebastian Kurtz is Austria’s next chancellor and back in 2015 we’d thought Justin Trudeau was young! In retrospect, the world probably has him to thank for the new trend of voting in young leaders. I recall when Trudeau became Prime Minister, we could not believe it. He was 43 years old and was already at the helm of Canada’s affairs. Barack Obama was 48 when he became president in 2009, years younger than George W Bush. Little did we know that his was only the beginning…

I can’t help but route all these developments home.

Nigeria.

On the 26th of July 2017, the Nigerian National Assembly passed into law a bill that proposes 35 as the minimum age for the office of the president. Hottest news of the day without a doubt. It trended on Social Media for days! Now however I , like many other Nigerian, am wondering if we dare hope that 2019 will bring with it Fresh blood. I have seen posters of people and I am googling to know more about them: some I’m impressed by and others have made my heart whisper, ‘ You too?’

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased by the show of new faces but I’m also wondering what skills and changes they will bring to the table. A lot of manifestos are hinged on the candidate’s youth. But you see, it is not just youth we need. Even Chinua Achebe explained what is required for a youth to lead in any society. He said and I paraphrase, ‘When a child washes his hands well he can sit and eat with the elders.’

It’s about the manifesto and how much they commit to executing it once they get into power.

According to CNN, Sebastian is offering the people of Austria a crackdown on immigration and they want him for that. I can think of a number of things I want my future Nigerian President to focus on and trust me when I say it will not be a one point agenda!

Over the next few weeks I’ll write about the sort of person I will be casting my vote for. My vote is just one but it is very powerful. Just to be clear: I’m not voting for anyone who is above a certain age- we need fresh blood in our system but those coming in need to bring in the change Nigeria needs. What kind of leader do you want? Do tell!