In the past week, I had the privilege of facilitating at the British Council School Leadership Program for 3 days in Lagos, Nigeria. School leaders converged from as far as Sokoto, Minna, Kaduna, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Warri and as close as Ibadan and Lagos.
Disseminating the Module on Child Protection, I opined that today’s educator must as a matter of necessity and priority put the child first. I noted that the concern for the child and his/her immediate and future needs must be the number one interest of the educator and not what the child learns according to a set curriculum that must run its full course, whether it meets the needs of the child or not…
I made the point, most poignantly that education is to bring out to full manifestation the divine deposits in the child, which are of limitless value. Therefore education is made for the child and not the child for education and until education meets the child at the point of his/her physical, mental and spiritual needs, it is awfully misplaced. It an eternal truth, worthy or being reiterated that children do not care how much you know until they how much you care to meet their needs. The point cannot be overemphasised that education begins and ends with making the it suit the child and his/her needs and not the other way round…
I pointed out reasons why I believe many educators focus more on the learning process than the child and his/her needs:
1. Ignorance of the 21st Century child and his/her basic needs…Thus someone says ‘teachers teach 19th century curriculum to the 21st century children in a 20th century building;’
2. Lack of Child Protection intelligence;
3. Misplaced priority;
4. Self preservation/continuity;
5. Response to popular demands from clients.
I submitted that when an educator focuses more on the what the child learns than the child and his needs, he/she leaves the child behind. A left-behind does not have a stake in his/her own education and does not cooperate with his educators. He/she only keeps a date with the educators, having been coerced into doing so. The child does not buy into the educators and the system they run and he/she develops hatred and rebels frequently against the system…
As primary and secondary caregivers, what type of educator are you? Do you minister to the head of the child or to the heart or both? Are you like that great shepherd, who keeps one hundred sheep and would leave ninety-nine behind to find only one, who is missing and does not return until he finds and, lays same on his shoulder rejoicing? Does EVERY CHILD MATTER TO YOU or you are in the very popular business of caring for the MULTITUDE at the expense of the INDIVIDUAL and SPECIFIC needs of the children under your care as primary and secondary educators? Do have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his Knees on the LORD’S Day