Internet connection has been a continuing challenge during my second and last trip to Kwara State University, Malete, outside of Ilorin, Nigeria. Therefore, I am about to leave and am just now able to have access to this blog page. Sorry for the lack on entries for those of you who have been attempting to follow me on this adventure!
I have resided at the Kwara Hotel this time, which is on the same street as the lodge accommodation in the fall; also the place with the Ariya Garden so popular for an evening of conversation and refreshment with other visiting faculty from around the world. I have met an instructor of French and her daughter; a Nigerian from Atlanta, Georgia who is in IT and considering a permanent move back to his homeland; a Canadian with expertise in community development; and a Nigerian from Chicago here to hopefully acquire and install video conferencing capabilities at the university. Such equipment would allow for individuals with expertise on various topids (from the US, UK, and Canada) to deliver content modules and perhaps entire courses, particularly in education.
The educators that I have met, particularly in public schools but also in some private ones, though dedicated, do not have the skill levels of teachers in the West and are woefully in need of knowledge on instructional methodologies and establishing positive learning environments. There is a punitive culture in all of Nigerian society, so, therefore, in the schools. Such was apparent this week when I did an in-service for the Sapati International School here in Ilorin on effective instructional strategies at the secondary level and some of the teachers were more interested in damning the students rather than thinking about more engaging methods on their parts in the classroom! This afternoon I will be making a presentation at the American International School of Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, on Positive Behavior Supports. It is a private school WITH an American curriculm and standards, and even they have concerns for the aggressive behaviors that are exhibited in some of their students.
I will be staying the night in Abuja in a teacher apartment at the school in order to give a presentation to parents of children with an ADHD diagnosis, i.e. What to do after the diagnosis?! Then I fly home Friday night, arriving in time for the baby shower for Rob and Cherra's son, which is Sunday near Rockford, IL. They are in their 33rd week of the pregnancy and all goes well with little Declan James Meloy, who will be getting some nice apparel at Sunday's event!
I have made a commitment to the Malete Primary School to attempt to obtain a textbook series in Reading and one in Science for Grades 1-6. They have limited materials and no series in either of those subjects. I will be contacting schools near WIU when I get back to see who is replacing curriculum in those two areas and if I can have the old textbooks. I will work with an area Rotary Club to see if they will foot the bill for shipping the books to the Rotary Club of Ilorin, who has committed to assisting in picking up the shipment in Lagos and delivering same to the school.
Well, "my bags are packed and I'm ready to go"... LLM