A School ‘Without’ Teachers – A Nigerian Education Innovation

  • Have you seen a school that uses no textbooks, no exercise books and no timetables?or… 
  • Have you ever visited a school without a row of chairs, tables for students and teachers?… and 
  • Have you been to a school where there are no grade levels, and nobody is actually a student?

If you haven’t, then welcome to Prikkle Academy!

All that you see in a regular school, we have the opposite at this Academy.

In Nigeria, there is a worrisome statistics of millions of youths that have to spend at least 16 years through school to become fully unemployed.

The numbers are even scarier in rural communities where the quality of formal education is low, where the infrastructures are weak and the motivation of learners and teachers dwindle down to zero every day.

This news is everywhere, everyone is angry about the educational system and the hope for a highly productive future of the nation is like the legs of a snail walking backwards.

Instead of waiting until everything crumbles, Prikkle Academy decided to chart a different path – a daringly odd direction to not fix education but to nurture the gifts and assets that are available in any community.

We have a vision of an Africa where rural youths are community builders, valued by everybody and can play a critical role in national development.

So, we co-create innovation hubs (called makerspaces) with grassroots youths to inspire creative collaboration in identifying the social problems within their community, freely choose their own tools and become problem-solvers through virtual and peer-to-peer learning.

Student at Prikkle Academy

In a practical sense, we run from a specific community location, inside a solar-powered building, opened for 7 days in a week, where anyone of any age, background or skill can freely walk into and find the tools and resources they need to turn their ideas into real solutions.

No timetables, no teacher or student, no classwork or homework, no report cards, no payment of any fees, and nobody is paid a salary.

We call it real learning as real life is happening.

There is a little story that is worth sharing about how we decided to go in this direction and then, we will hold your hand as we walk you through some of the magical possibilities that have happened since we started in 2016.

Are you ready? Let’s go:

In 2012, a young man after immediately graduating from the University was enrolled by the Nigerian Government as a biology teacher on the compulsory 1 year National Service.

The usual practice is that some graduates influence their placement to be posted to the cities, but this guy didn’t bother influencing his posting.

Fortunately, he was posted into a hard-to-reach rural community in Benue State, North-Central Region in Nigeria (Most-populous African Nation).

He had to live in a house without electricity, drinkable water or toilet for 7 months of his stay in the community. When he resumed at the school, he found students that were academically brilliant and many others that struggled to learn.

While his job was to help students learn Biology, something shocking started happening to the students that he couldn’t ignore.

He realized that some of his students dropped out of school without any prior notice. He inquired about the situation and found out that there were two problems that led to this problem:

#1 Poverty! – the parents could no longer afford the cost of sending their children to school.
#2 The quality of education was too low to raise skilled youths.

Survival is generally tough in rural communities and the youths continuously moved to the city to become street children and manual laborers to survive.

At this point, he got inspired to help rural children and youths to get tailored, personalized and quality education that will ensure they learn effectively, have top-notch competencies to get jobs, be engaged and lead peaceful lives in the future, no matter where they go to.

He engaged about 200 students for 3 days in a series of capacity building sessions. The creative spirit, curiosity and the passion in the students were unleashed. Within a month, new enterprises were created and still growing till date.

The children and youths seemed powerless living in rural communities because they didn’t have the necessary technologies to learn, research, grow and blossom like the children in the city or in developed countries.

After his 1 year service year ended, he took a job that he didn’t need in the city. Yet, deep down, he was already consumed with the passion to empower humanity, because of his experiences visiting and working with more rural communities within that year.

His name is Damilola Fasoranti, straightaway he decided to start Prikkle Academy, left his city job and permanently moved into the rural communities to do 2 major things:

  • to make sure that any child and youth in the rural communities can be fully engaged with the tools, people and resources that will help them turn any education they have into solutions.
  • to help more youths to access learning opportunities, to collaborate on projects with other youths from around the world, to communicate effectively, become ethical leaders and lead successful lives.

In the past 3 years, here are some of the results of this ‘odd’ approach to Education:

  • Increased community recycling: plastic bottles, nylons and cartons were usually thrown away by the community people are now being sold in bundles starting from $2, as they now see the tangible recycled products that children and youths are creating from it.
  • Employment opportunities: At least 15 unemployed participants now earn $60+ monthly (above minimum wage) by offering their new skill sets virtually in design, content creation, social media management and research.
  • This makerspace, launched in 2017 has helped to engender peaceful co-existence with neighbors, different tribes, religions and language serving 7 schools (over 900 students) in the local communities of Mbagishi, Benue State and Afon, Kwara State, Nigeria.
  • For the first time, rural youths are able to use computers and learn with other people from around the world virtually.
  • The centre has attracted the visits of urban professionals, University students from several states in Nigeria and Overseas.
  • Our solution of turning household food waste into organic fertilizers for farmers has been adopted by people in 3 African countries.
  • We have successfully converted human feces into organic cooking fuel.
  • Successfully partnered with the Government in Nigeria and 4 other organizations in Nigeria (MollyFrank Nigeria Limited and MindTheGap – A Google Sponsored Initiative), in Benin Republic (VIP World) and a Non-profit Organization (Loss of Generality) Ireland.
  • In 2017, Prikkle Academy was profiled as one of the 450 education organizations in the world solving education problems with an innovative approach by Centre for Education Innovations (an Initiative of Results for Development Institute), USA.
  • – We were selected as 1 of the Top 100 Global Most inspiring Social Innovations by Social Enabler, India.
  • Our Staff and Participants have been selected for at least 6 International fellowship programs for using an unconventional method to solve rural educational problems in Nigeria.
  • Prikkle Academy’s inspiring approach to development has been published in the renowned CHANGE Magazine, by Development Innovation Insider (Diinsider), Hong Kong.

If there a dream that you have always had, the time to launch it was yesterday, not tomorrow. No matter how odd or scary it may seem.

See this documentary, click >>>> HERE

You have been inspired enough… now, LAUNCH!

To learn more and support our work at Prikkle Academy, visit our website: www.prikkleacademy.org | On Social Media: @PrikkleAcademy [ctt template=”8″ link=”aIJ70″ via=”no” ]Prikkle Academy – Changing Lives, Empowering Communities [/ctt]

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Damilola Fasoranti writes in his dreams and helps fearful entrepreneurs to finally launch their awesome dreams. He is a Tedx Speaker, a professional educator and the Chief Listener at Prikkle Academy (in Nigeria) where he provokes young people to turn their skills, gifts and knowledge into social solutions.

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Blog Recognition & My Tips for New, Upcoming or Seasoned Bloggers

The photo above and below courtesy of pexels and bing

Okay, so I’ve tried to hold off on this for a while because I guess I’m the type of person where I don’t like to keep bringing things up – so let me be transparent here: Over the last couple of months I’ve been getting recognized by different bloggers and the blog has received several awards in which I’m very grateful (you can see all of them including this one now, on the side over there…

👉👉👉👉👉 (to the near bottom – there you go =)

But have you ever felt like, things just kept coming and while people are excited at first – afterwhile, you start getting a side-eye like REALLY??? okay, you can stop now. You know, sort of like those award shows where people just keep winning and suddenly the people in the audience’s reactions are something like this:

giphy - NO NOYeah! the awards were coming so often – I was for sure I would be getting one of those reactions…lol, could’da just been me, soooooo – I thought I’d let this one sit for a while and take a little break, know what I mean?

However, I would really really like to thank my sister from another mother Rakkelle of Racquel Writes for nominating me for this recognition – I truly appreciate you girl and so sorry it took SOOOOOOO LONG!! I love Rakkelle’s blog, it’s filled with so much insight, thought and I have to say – it’s one of the blogs that I look forward to reading every….single….week, no doubt! So go check her out and follow her pleassseeeee – you won’t be disappointed and that’s a BIG/HUGE – I PROMISE YA!!!

So, the rules of this award are very simple all you have to do is: 

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 or more fellow bloggers for this award.
  6. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and leave a link to your post.

Well, numbers 1 and 2 are good so it’s story time (a brief story that is) and here we go!

HOW DID A BLOG, A MAGAZINE. IT’S JUSTSUMINSPIRATION START: 

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If you’re an avid follower of mine or if you’re not. I’ve mentioned this in a couple of blog posts such as this one – but if I can be honest, blogging honestly started as a hobby. I had never thought of starting a blog before until mid or late 2014 when I was scrolling around on my phone and seen the WordPress advertisement “Start your own blog today!” and I was like, hmmm – so I looked into it but didn’t start right away. After that instance, the thought seemed to come to me more and more and more about starting a blog. I had no idea as to what I would write about or if I even had enough in me to keep it up with consistent writing.

I’m the type of person that can be very good about starting something but a failure at finishing what I started. I went on and didn’t give it much thought until March of 2015, I was sitting at my desk and seen that annoying WordPress advertisement again but this time I heard a voice say “DO IT NOW” I was so shocked and scared.

I knew that voice was God and I knew at that moment that he wanted me to start the blog. The awkward urges I was feeling in those past months were urges signaling me to do what I felt like I was called to do and that is to “Encourage.” So as I sat there trying to figure out what name to call it, that’s when “Justsuminspiration” immediately dropped in my soul and that’s what it’s been ever since. I added the magazine aspect of it to focus on everyday things such as people, movies and inspirational acts of kindness being done in the world by amazing people who may never get noticed by the media. You can find out more here concerning the journey ahead from that start point.

GIVE TWO PIECES OF ADVICE FOR NEW BLOGGERS

advice

  • My first piece of advice for new bloggers is to be authentic – just be you. Kristi Hill asked this question some months ago and luckily my name and advice were one of the ones she chose. So here’s what I said then in which still stands now for any new blogger and upcoming blogger:

The one thing I wasted a lot of time on was not really focusing on my blog and/or the reasons why I started the blog in the first place. I lost a lot of time watching other bloggers and if I can be honest, trying to mimic their style and verbiage thinking that’s what I needed to do in order to grow my blog and get traffic. My word of advice to any new blogger would be to “keep their focus” on their own blog (at least for the first month or two) trying to make it presentable, thinking of topics to talk about and looking at what will make their blog unique. We all have a gift and we all have something important to say, my blog may not be like anyone else’s and someone else will not be like mine – but that’s what makes the bloggerverse so unique because it’s filled with different stories, genres, backgrounds, colors, and purpose.

  • My second piece of advice for any new, upcoming or seasoned blogger is to read the advice from Kristi’s post “Blogging Time Wasters” – it’s a really good read that has valuable comments from other bloggers who talk about their experience’s with blogging and the pitfalls they ran into while blogging. As stated before in other posts, I don’t have answers for everything and never feel as though I have all the knowledge in the world on this blog – my experiences are mine and I share them but I also don’t mind sharing good information that I feel could help others as well, even if I don’t have the answers.

So, I would like to encourage ðŸ‘ˆ  get that word…wink, haha – any blogger to read that post, it’s full of information that can and will help you on your blogging journey. GOOD LUCK!! 

Now # 5 & 6 states to nominate 15 bloggers and in true form, I normally would – but I’m going to take the high road like my sis Rakkelle did here and I’m going to leave this award open to anyone that would like to participate, please do. I nominate ALL THE BLOGGERS WHO FOLLOW ME for this award. Your comments, love, and readership of anything I write are very much appreciated; especially on those days when I feel as though no one is paying attention, there’s always a comment left that gives me that lemonade to keep pushing through and I’m forever grateful.

Until next time – thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this post.

Much Love ðŸ’‹ðŸ’‹ðŸ’‹

Not exactly sure what the month of November will hold but I’ll be here with something =)

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Since becoming a Blogger – I wrote my very first faith-based children’s book about bullying entitled:

“Billy Wolf & The Kids’s of Heavenly Hills Elementary” 

It’s gotten some really cool reviews and is a book for both a child as well as an adult, in which I’ve had quite a few childless adults to purchase it. I think you’ll like it too. You can pick up your very own copy at one of the retailers below:

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NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH THESE MAJOR ONLINE BOOK OUTLETS

Books-A-Million

Barnes and Nobles 

Amazon

Purchase your copy Today!!!

 

 

Feel Free to Follow Me on These Sites5_ (2)

Mystery Blogger, Who Me? Thanks Alexis Chateau!

Hi Everyone!

Well, since this week is a holiday week and most people are either away from work or barely working (wink, wink) I thought this would be a great “down-time” to complete the Mystery Blogger Award nom I received from Alexis Chateau,  Alexis is an adventurer, writer and novelist who’ll take you to places you’ve never been or always dreamed of going right from your own home! Visit her blog and FB page to see where her next adventure lies! I’m very humbled to have been given this award as well as well as the sunshine and top 30 award. When I came into blogging, I would’ve never imagined being at this place and as I was telling a fellow blogger the other day, the road has been challenging but yet fulfilling and awarding, all of which I’m very grateful.

Continue reading “Mystery Blogger, Who Me? Thanks Alexis Chateau!”

TOP 30? What You Say???…

photo source above courtesy of bing

Yesssss!!!! I was so excited when I opened my email this morning to find out that…..Drum Roll Please!! 

drumroll

This Blog “A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration! received an award as being one of the TOP 30!!! Inspirational Blogs on the Internet!!!!

I can’t tell you how excited, elated, overwhelmed! & just overly SHOCKED! I am about this news. It really did come as a complete surprise. At first I was told that I would be among-st the Top 50 Inspirational blogs, so I was like – to be honored at all is a privilege but to open my email and see that I was pushed into the TOP 30 was really humbling; I didn’t expect that at all.

Continue reading “TOP 30? What You Say???…”