#Read2Riches: Rethinking Learning In Nigeria


The concept of life-long learning is one that is not accorded due priority in our society. There is therefore a need for educated minds to come together to enlighten the world on the HOW, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN of learning. The word that comes to mind at the mention of learning is schooling; but is learning synonymous to schooling? Where and when does learning start and stop?

These and many more were questions that inspired the November edition of #Read2Riches Twitter hangout tagged RETHINKING LEARNING. On November 1, 2014, the hangout started with Damilola Fasoranti (@fashdami), the anchor and host of the event, welcoming the guests: Simi Olusola (@simiolusola), Joshua Alade (@iamJoshuaAlade) and Ogbuagu Kenechukwu (@globalkene), who honoured participants with their wealth of knowledge.

Simi Olusola, an ardent volunteer with an unrepentant passion for development in Africa in the areas of education, sustainable livelihood, human rights and gender-related issues; enlightened us on RETHINKING HOW we learn. She described her own e-way of learning and further emphasized that every individual has an optimum way of learning. For efficient assimilation, each individual should not be made to read in any other way that is not suitable to him or her. Learning does not happen in formal settings alone and people should never be boxed into a specific way of learning. Individuals should embrace whichever method of learning that best suits them, be it reading, listening, observing or pondering.

In amazing tweets, Joshua Alade, an enthusiastic youth educator and a fellow of the 2014 Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, discussed RETHINKING WHAT we learn. He explained that learning environments should accommodate the needs of each student and support the development of a child wholly. In rethinking what to learn, students must be supported in mastery of both content and skills. In addition, there should be avenues for internships and projects that integrate real-life math, science, design and technology skills. Students need to become media literate and learn to understand how to function in an online collaborative, research-based environment. He further discussed the roles of teachers in what and how students learn.

Ogbuagu Kenechukwu, a social entrepreneur and founder of SHINE Academy, an organisation that helps young people discover, nurture and channel their greatness properly to make the world a better place, elaborately discussed RETHINKING WHERE and WHEN we learn. He sensitized the participants on the questions associated to learning and why there is a need to RETHINK LEARNING. WHERE and WHEN does one learn in this time and this century?

Where and when do individuals gather the knowledge they require to live the life they desire? Is learning limited to buildings registered as schools? Does learning stop after we begin to work? Do we actually learn everywhere and every time? These were some of the questions he answered and shed light on. It takes a factor for learning to happen and until one recognizes and manage that factor, one will not control learning.

Ogbuagu mentioned that curiosity is imperative for most learning. He explained that if one understands and can manage curiosity impulse, one could control one’s learning environment and time. Curiosity allows individuals to rake in and process information anywhere, anytime. It makes one look beyond age, work status and bow to any source of knowledge, just to fill that hole. By controlling this impulse, manipulating it, turning it on and off, students can control their learning.

Excerpts:
Rethinking ‘HOW’ we learn – Simi Olusola
 I got e-versions of all those books and would sit for hours at my laptop reading with music in the background.

 Reading is a culture that should be widely and regularly practiced. The method of reading however is peculiar to individuals.

 Learning doesn’t happen in formal settings or by reading academic books ONLY.

 Learning can happen when you’re taking a stroll or talking with friends or reading a magazine.

 Learning can be deliberate or accidental. What matters is that learning occurs.

 Learn at every point in time you have the opportunity. Create some opportunities and utilize those that come up on their own.

 Also learn whichever way suits you. Either by reading, listening, observing, pondering etc

 Do not box people into specific ways of learning.

Rethinking ‘WHAT’ we learn – Joshua Alade
• Learning occurs in classrooms, but it also occurs virtually and through after-school programs – it should be all around you.

• These learning environments should accommodate the needs of each student and support the development of the whole child…

• …ensuring their academic, as well as their emotional, social, and physical development. There is a need for vision.

• Today’s students need to be inspired to become creative problem solvers and intellectual risk takers.

• Students who have access to challenging academic programs are better prepared for further education, work and civic life.

• In rethinking what to learn students must be supported in mastery of both content and skills.

• Learning has to be personalized, strong teacher support, closeness to the community and programs that support learners.

• Humans are organic creatures, if the conditions are right we will spring to life. Create a climate of possibilities.

• Teachers must move from isolation to connection, creating an optimistic culture that will positively impact student learning

• The role of a teacher is to facilitate learning but today the dominant culture is testing. Testing is important but…

• …conformity in learning must be tailor-made to a learner. We must have a broad approach to learning. Do not box people up.

Rethinking ‘WHERE and WHEN’ we learn – Ogbuagu Kenechukwu

• I have a feeling I’m sharing with people who understand the need to revamp learning.

• All our life, we are told that learning will always be in a wall. They call it school. Right?

• Where and when do you gather the knowledge you require to live the life you desire?

• Some answer, ‘IN SCHOOL and JUST BEFORE YOU START TO WORK’.

• And you, you probably have screamed, ‘EVERYWHERE and EVERYTIME’!

• Is learning limited to buildings registered as schools?

• It takes a factor for learning to happen. And until you recognize & manage that factor, you won’t control learning…

• I will leak a secret to you today, why do two people in the same place & time learn on different capacity or one doesn’t at all?

• CURIOSITY
• Curiosity makes a child learn how to walk irrespective that he/she is tender. Curiosity allows you to watch and learn.

• Curiosity makes you look for knowledge beyond your classroom or computer. It can go as far as sending you to dangers to learn.

• Curiosity defines where and when you learn.
• Do you know you can learn from the mosquitoes, as you watch them suck? Not your blood by the way!

• Open up to learning even from a toddler and you will see so much that you haven’t learnt as an adult.

• To control your learning place and time, control your desire to learn. Control your curiosity level and manipulate it.

• Don’t ever limit it to a particular place and time (online or offline, school or street).

Question and Answer Session
Fasoranti Damilola @fashdami: Q1. I cram a lot, I pass very well but in few weeks I forget half the stuffs. How can I learn to retain?

@globalkene: A1. Cramming is never a method of learning. That’s why you forget after the test…

@globalkene: Find a real reason to learn. Attach it to your reason of existence. It then opens a hole to fill. Once filled, it won’t go.

@iamJoshuaAlade: A1. Change your learning model. Don’t cram, read to know and

practise reflective thinking.
Fasoranti Damilola @fashdami: Q2. I feel school is annoying, stressful & comes with painful experiences. Can I make learning fun myself?

@SimiOlusola: A2. Absolutely, you can make learning fun for yourself. Create a learning system outside the school system.

@SimiOlusola: You can also make your learning fun by going home and tweaking those boring parts to suit you.

Every tweet from the guests and participants was beautifully and awesomely loaded with intelligence and deep knowledge. #READ2RICHES started 3:00 pm and at the end of the event around 6:30pm, 15,589 twitter accounts were reached, generating 48,497 impressions.

Oluwatosin Ajewumi is a Computer Engineering student at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. A budding inspirational writer and speaker, she blogs at www.tosinajewumi.blogspot.com and tweets from @tosin_ajewumi

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