By: Bernard Ibelih
In the last three years, LEAP Africa through the United Way Worldwide grant on behalf of the generosity of Citi Foundation has implemented the iLEAD programme in 15 schools in Lagos State. This programme has trained about 45 teachers and 1200 students in public secondary schools on Leadership, Life and Employability skills needed to become positive change agents within their communities while also facilitating their post-secondary school transition into higher education and/or gainful employment.
During this period, we have realized that leadership and life skills shifts, young people, away from a mindset of being in need into an orientation that emphasizes the possibility of self-actualization and social transformation. We have also realized that teachers and school administrators are key actors in youth development given the role they play in the formative years of their socialization.
To help co-create an improved objective and long term sustainability of the iLEAD programme. LEAP, therefore, sought to identify and understand the effect of the iLEAD programme on the professional and daily experiences of the teachers and the noticeable behavioural changes of the students on the programme. Also finding ways of leveraging the agency of teachers to advance learning outcomes and the learning environment.
The gathering was an interesting blend of 34 teachers and school administrators from present and past schools where the iLEAD programme has been/is being implemented in Lagos state. The conversations were rich towards teachers’ motivation and their journey into the noble profession. It was interesting to know that while a good percentage of teachers in the room “found” themselves in the profession, most of the teachers had to leave gainful employment to pursue their passion for teaching. When asked what motivates them, majority echoed the same response – the joy of seeing their students succeed in life.
A breakout session saw teachers set into discussion groups to brainstorm and highlight ways to sustain the learning of the students and to also suggest the way forward. There are a plethora of quality insights gained from the suggestions highlighted by teachers that will further inform the design and implementation of the new iLEAD programme cycle.