Renowned educationist and Proprietress of Standard Bearers School, Lekki, Lagos, Mrs. Modupe Adeyinka-Oni has said that the need to bridge the yawning educational standards gap within the society is the principal reason behind why she is promoting the I-Africa Cloud School Project alongside her partners.
Oni, who has been engaged in the Nigerian educational sector in a hands-on capacity for 38 years affirmed that the aim of the social impact scheme is to ensure that presently underserved communities where parents and guardians of the children do not have the means to access and pay for A-grade quality education as is available to other more upscale communities would be helped to get the top-grade education they require ‘so that they would not be left behind.’
For the recipient of the 2021 African DOers awards, it is most important that those who can should reach out to those who do not have and it is for this reason that she has set out at the moment to ensure that well-heeled professionals like herself should rise up to the challenge and help to give back in such a way that the burden of unequal educational access and its negative side effects can be minimised and more creatively managed.
As she explained, the big idea behind the project is to tap from within one pool to benefit the other pool.
Modupe Adeyinka-Oni is a teacher of teachers. A former long-time player within the prestigious Corona Schools team, she is one who is generally always in search of value. Getting value, adding value and sharing value is first nature for her. That is essentially how she is wired.
24 years ago, when she saw a need to focus more intently on the specific needs of individual readers, she pulled out of the Corona Schools System to start Standard Bearers School, Lekki, Lagos.
Now her sights are set on improving overall capacity in the educational system. And she is working with two principal points of focus: building greater teacher capacity and using technology more powerfully.
Part of her motivation comes from a desire to give back to a system that has been quite generous to and served her through the years. But there is also a strand of her inspiration that comes from her appreciation of the basic reality that Nigeria as a nation and Africa as a continent would only be building a castle of sand if plans are not made to ensure the best educational possibilities for the many in our midst that are deprived and disadvantaged.
This is what has engaged her for almost a decade now, working with other like-minded professionals in helping to raise teacher standard in the less affluent private schools in the Lagos area; those whose children pay fees of about N20-25,000.00 (40 to 50 dollars) a term.
Some of the communities whose schools have benefited from these engagements are in the Ijesha and Ogudu suburbs of Africa’s most populous megacity. And the results have indeed been quite notable, including a paradoxical feedback call from one benefiting school owner who reported that her teachers had become so resourced and empowered that they had indeed become the beautiful bride in their own neighbourhood!
Currently, she is engaged in using ground-breaking but available technology to reach out to even more communities across Nigeria, and at this time also, to directly engage and teach the students themselves.
Of special interest for her at this time too are children from poor communities and the rising bands of IDP children who are victims of the many conflicts that have broken out across the country in more recent years. A pilot project was undertaken in the Federal Capital Territory a few days ago and all systems are presently being fine-tuned to ensure full deployment in the next few weeks.
Adeyinka-Oni is grateful for the help and support of her many partners, sponsors and associates who are collaborating with her on the field. Appreciating that the task at hand is indeed very daunting, she however believes that because it has to be done, she would not be deterred. ‘We will keep going on. It will all be well.’ Such single minded devotion. Such exemplary demonstration of resolve. Commendable.