Headline, February 13 2022/ WORLD'S : ''' '' STRIKINGLY BAD EDUCATION '' '''




TEACHER TRAINING : EDUCATION IN A CAN. Children learn too little at many schools.Tightly scripted pre-baked lessons could certainly help.

'' GOOD JOB FOR YOU! '' SHOUTS PAULINE BIKA - to a group of schoolchildren completes the hokey-cokey. ''Good job me!'' choruses her class. Ms Bika runs a small government primary school In Edo state, in southern Nigeria.

It is reached by a mud track that starts not far outside Benin City, the state capital. Her school has 140 pupils, but only three teachers. She seems both pleased and a little embarrassed to offer a visitor a plastic chair.

FOR all that it lacks, Ms Bika's school has one advantage. At the start of the last year the state education ministry gave each of her teachers a small tablet with a black-and-white touch screen. Every two weeks they use it to download detailed scripts that guide each lesson they deliver.

These scripts tell the teacher what to say, what to write on the blackboard, and even when to walk around the classrooms. Ms. Bika says this new way of working is saving teachers time that they used to spend scribbling their own lesson plans - and her pupils are reading better, too.

THAT is sorely needed, for much of the education given in much of the world is strikingly bad.

ACROSS THE DEVELOPING WORLD many schoolchildren learn very little, even when they spend years in class. Less than half of kids in low-and-middle income countries are able to read short passages by the time they finish primary school, according to the World Bank.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, as few as 10% can. Experiments like those are underway in Nigeria mark one attempt to improve things. They also face fierce opposition from critics who are convinced they mark a wrong turn.

The reforms in Edo began in 2018. God-win Obaseki, the state governor, says that poor schools are one reason that youngsters have often left the state for greener pastures [some fall victim to people-traffickers promising better lives in Europe]

Since then, the government has provided tablets and training to 15,000 teachers. They in turn have given the new lessons to more than 300,000 children, most of them in primary schools. On any given day pupils throughout the state receive identical lessons, as dictated by the tablet.

The training and technology are provided by NewGlobe, an education company founded in 2007 by three Americans [Pitchbook, a data firm, valued the companies at $250 million following a funding round in 2016].

New Globe developed its approach while running a chain of low-cost private schools, mostly in Kenya, under the brand ''Bridge International Academies.''

A study by academics including Michael Kremer, a development economist at the University of Chicago, found that, over two years, children who attended New Globe's primary schools made gains equivalent to almost a whole year of extra schooling, compared with their peers in other schools.

Though Edo was the first state in Nigeria to strike a deal with the firm, NewGlobe's approach has since also been applied in Lagos, the country's biggest city.

The firm is starting work in Manipur, a state in north-eastern India, and in Rwanda. Around a million children are now studying in classrooms that use NewGlobe's model - far more than its private schools have ever been able to reach.

Although it seems able to find plenty of clients, the company provokes ferocious arguments among educators. Its private schools have long faced energetic opposition from trade unions and some international NGOS, many of whom hate the idea of profit-seeking companies playing any role in education.

Others resent the application of mass production to what they see as a skilled, artisanal profession.

Dennis Sinyolo of Education International, a global group of teachers' unions, says scripted lessons ''undermine teaching'' and encourages rote learning and exam drilling''. He says good lesson plans are written to match local contexts, and the needs of individual students.

The freedom to change tack mid-lesson is invaluable if a lesson plan is not working. ''There's no one-size-fits-all in teaching,'' he says.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Education and Teachers, continues. The World Students Society thanks The Economist.

With respectful dedication to Leaders, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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