Adeola Hollway Oduyemi is the founder and Executive Director of IHH Educational Consultant, a Training Company based in Ontario Canada. She is an educationist and instructor who specialises in early childhood development. She is also a therapist and member of a Multi-disciplinary team of Applied Behavior Analysts (ABA).
She has over fifteen years of experience in Nigeria and Canada, working with children with special needs and advocating the importance of laying quality foundation of learning in early years. Her strong passion for educational development is without doubt contagious as she provides young children with learning skills that will help them succeed all through life and school. Recently she had a chat with Esther Onyegbula when she visited Nigeria for a paper presentation on “Educating a child on the spectrum”.
When was IHH Educational consultant established?
It was established in 2010. We focus a lot on early childhood development because it is the foundation stage. It is at that stage that you notice red flags for child development that indicates whether a child is developing properly or not. Early childhood is a very passionate topic for me when it comes to laying solid foundation for children to build life skills and education.
*Adeola Hollway Oduyemi ….Acquisition of knowledge is forever ongoing; it is never static
It is all about helping children turn into individuals that will grow into their optimum ability. I train a lot of schools in Nigeria even though I reside in Canada. We also do special services for individuals who have special needs.
When you compare the Nigerian educational system with what obtains abroad, what would you say is lacking in child development?
I think personnel training is lacking, especially with child development. Our culture has a good support system which is a very strong tool that educational professionals can work with and harness. Honestly, parents should train the people that are in their children’s lives, the caregivers, and the people that surround their children. When you train the people and care givers who surround a child, the programs and the skills that they acquire, they will also be able to transfer on to the children.
What do you think should be done about our educational system to improve the quality of education?
What is lacking in Nigeria educational system is the application of knowledge acquired. Nigerians have very good teachers but it is all theoretical. Until we create a system where all the theories that students learn are applied in life situations, our educational system won’t improve.
But we have Nigerian students who do extremely well when they go abroad to study, why is this so?
The reason why most students from Nigeria who go abroad to study are doing very well again is that by the time they get abroad, they are taught to apply whatever they have learnt. And then you hear parents brag that their child got scholarship. It is because they used the application of the skills and the knowledge they have acquired over the years, which is actually skill building.
How can knowledge gathering be turned into skill building?
Teachers need to train every year. It is an on-going process. Acquisition of knowledge is forever ongoing; it is never static. In my environment in Ontario, Canada, teachers’ training is done every summer. Teachers train for what we call the AQ(s) always.
If we want to have progress and turn knowledge gathering into skill building, things need to change because the society is changing. Our society today is not the same as ten years ago. The society ten years ago is not the society of the seventies. But unfortunately, we are still using the same knowledge and methodology which is outdated. We can’t keep using the same methodology and make any meaningful difference or progress.
What you mean is that our methodology does not meet the demands of our present society?
Definitely these method needs to be improved. Our teachers needs to be encouraged, supported and compensated adequately so that they will want to do more. That way, teaching will become something they look forward to do.
In your opinion, what is the reason why most companies find it difficult to employ graduates in spite of their qualifications?
It has to do with changing the methodology and the curriculum so that graduates from higher institutions would be able to apply what they have learnt. We will continue to have unemployable graduates with first and second class certificates until they are able to employ what they have learnt.
What has life taught you in your years of living and working outside your country?
Living outside Nigeria has taught me to appreciate my culture and its values. I appreciate my culture the more and love my people the more.