‘With Educamp, Meadow Hall prepares pathway to success’
Taiye Erhumwunse is the Head of Meadow Hall Consult. The passionate educator, avid reader and learner spoke with GREGORY AUSTIN NWAKUNOR why she is an ardent believer in continuous professional development and the forthcoming Educamp and Edufair.
Stepping foot into Meadow Hall Group complex in Lekki is an experience so heightened. The entire landscape is not only bold, but an orchestrated beauty: The lush trees at the perimeter, attractive lawns and architectural masterpieces. What envelopes a visitor as soon as he or she opens gates of the complex is serenity. The environment is airy and calm. All is quiet.But there is an exception. The office of Taiye Erhumwunse.
There is a flurry of activities here, as the group with six subsidiaries — Meadow Hall Education, Meadow Hall Consult, Spring Meadow Edutainment, Meadow Hall Branchise, Meadow Hall Resources and Meadow Hall Foundation— prepares for this year’s Educamp and Edufair.
Erhumwunse emerges from another office and glides across the reception in a floral shirt and skirt. Her long-braid hair, a touch of makeup and her shiny skin reveal a woman with a sense of beauty. Maybe, all beauty.
She beckons on her guest to come in for the scheduled chat. Pleasantries are exchanged, but in a rather serious manner. But as soon as Erhumwunse starts speaking, you realise that your notions about her aren’t quite right. She’s not the intense control freak you imagined — not obviously so — but a normal-person friendly and practical, even when saying something serious. She smiles widely as she talks about the forthcoming Educamp and Edufair.
She says, intensely, “the group is passionate about the holistic development of children and its desire is to be known all over the world for S.A.M.E, an acronym that stands for: S – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). We all know the importance of science and technology in the 21st century, A – Advocacy- Advocacy in Education, which we hope to achieve through our Foundation and generally in ‘being the voice’ for Educators, especially in promoting and elevating the teaching profession in Nigeria, M – Multiple Intelligences- this concept simply celebrates children’s core competencies, be it in academics or in non-academic endeavours and E – Excellent Education- one which prepares the children and helps them adapt to the realities of life in the 21st century.”
On Educamp and Edufair, she says, “Educamp is our signature brand training programme targeted at all members of the education sector. It has provided a conducive ambience for key educational stakeholders to network and share ideas on best and current education practices. Yearly, new and exciting courses, facilitated by seasoned professionals are put together for educators at all levels. The theme for this year is ‘People, Purpose and Passion: The Pathway to Success’.”
Running alongside Educamp is Edufair, a one-stop exhibition, which connects businesses to schools and showcases trendy educational products and services. “Both programmes create opportunity not only to learn the best practices, but also to purchase educational materials and services to implement them,” Erhumwunse explains, adding, “the need for continuous professional development cannot be over emphasized. We also realized that creating an avenue where educational stakeholders can have the opportunity to shop for educational materials at reasonable value would be a plus.”
Over the years, the consult has served as consultants on various projects, some of which include, Establishment of Hermann Gmeiner Junior Secondary School for SOS Children’s Villages, Gwagwalada, training of English language teachers in secondary schools across Lagos State through Eko Project, the Meadow Hall Graduate Teacher Trainee Programme and Finishing School for Teachers, And most recently, partners to the Lagos State Government on the Ready Set Work (RSW) Project and Educamp: The camp is a yearly three-day residential training programme targeted at all members of the education sector within and outside the country.
Stakeholders in the educational sector have noted that the continuing decline in educational standards in Nigeria especially as shown in public examination and the performance of education outputs are basically as a result of crave for paper qualification, poor infrastructure, accessibility to schools, lack of dedication of teachers, and parents’ lack of interested in their children’s education.
For Erhumwunse, “the consult provides creative and innovative support to educational institutions. We are dedicated to our vision of raising the standard and quality of education in Nigeria. For over nine years, the consult has continuously provided up to date professional development training workshops and project management services in the education sector across the country. The consult is committed to providing excellent training and consultancy services and its vision is to train educational service providers in best practice, especially, in the following areas, conducting training workshops to enhance skill levels and ultimately increase productivity, organising retreats for teachers, school administrators and school owners, teacher’s club for continuous improvement and mentoring, school curriculum development, development of standard operating procedures (SOPs), school polices and handbooks, on-site classroom observation feedback, school/ classroom plan, business plan, school structuring/restructuring, school audit and school assessment, recruitment services for educational institutions, general business advisory and consulting, finishing school for teachers, leadership academy and Educamp/Edufair.”
She believes that both programmes have been devised, as ways and means of helping the educational sector, especially in training of teachers to meet with new the challenges.
Aside the learning opportunity under a conducive environment, it serves other opportunities such as networking, experience sharing on best practices, gaining more insight on school brand management and a-one-stop shop for educational resources.
She says, “our overall objective is to raise the quality and standard of education in Nigeria by providing innovative support to educational institutions and individuals through teacher training and professional development,” she explains. “Both programmes were established to respond to the learning gaps in the teaching profession, and also, the need to improve teaching skills of teachers and in all, groom 21st century teachers.”
The consult boss says, “the focus for this year is for teachers and education stakeholders to go beyond superficially educating children, but to educate them with passion and also to create defining paths of purpose in them. School owners, school administrators, principals, head teachers, teachers and other education stakeholders will leave with rekindled passion for educating children who will tackle future challenges head on with grace and grit.
“It is open to education stakeholders who are passionate about professional development and continuous learning. I strongly recommend the programme to school owners, school administrators, principals, head teachers, teachers, parents and educational consultants,” Erhumwunse says. “It is poised to equip educators with the necessary requisites needed to prepare the learners for the 21st century world and beyond; it promises to be an avenue for sharing education best practices that will improve the educators’ performance.”
The first edition of Educamp was in 2009 and it had over 200 participants in attendance. Over the years, the figure has grown and to a very large extent, “it has achieved its aim of improving the standard and quality of education through 21st century training content and methodology. It has also being a networking avenue and an annual melting point for educators to get refreshed and fired up the new academic session,” she says.
Some of the speakers are, Mrs. Kehinde Nwani (GMD/CEO, Meadow Hall Group), Mrs. Ivie Okwuegbuna (SEN Expert/Assistant Head Teacher, UK), Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo (Principal Consultant/CEO, Leading Learning Limited), Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi (Group CEO, Prima Garnet), Mr. Taiwo Akilami (Child Protection Specialist, UK), Mr. Olatokunbo Opesan (Executive Director, Academic Affairs, Meadow Hall), Mr. John Ofoesuwa (VP Pastoral Meadow Hall), Mr. Joseph Aisida (Principal Consultant/CEO, The Orientation Project), Ms. Rita Ekpenyong (Head Teacher, Meadow Hall Junior School).
Edufair, on the other hand, will give vendors of educational products and services opportunities to meet key education stakeholders and reach out to untapped markets at this time of economic downturn.“The programme presents great opportunity for organisations or individuals rendering educational services or selling educational products to register as a vendor. Edufair is a good channel to promote your business, connect with your target market and increase sales. Participants and other visitors will have an opportunity to buy educational products and resources that will transform their schools in the new session from a single meeting point. They will be saved from the hassle of moving from one shop location to another. Attendance is free for all visitors.”
Both Educamp and EDUFAIR will hold in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Registration is ongoing and closes on August 25. EDUCAMP Lagos and EDUFAIR will run from August 30 to September 1, while EDUCAMP Port Harcourt runs from September 5 to 6.