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    Education Tampere visits Lagos State, Nigeria

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    Business Tampere as part of Finland delegation visiting Lagos State, Nigeria.

    Over the past 1,5 weeks I have had an opportunity together with Peter Perttula from Tampere Adult Education Center to get an overview what is happening in Education sector at Lagos State, Nigeria. City of Tampere and Lagos State did sign a MoU in early spring 2022 which was kickstart for set up a common path on collaboration.

    First concrete step was to train a group of teachers during late spring 2022 for two weeks in Tampere by a Learning Scoop. This autumn was second step to build better understanding and build a foundation for good relations. That was built on three main parts and supporter with several other stakeholder meetings. Those three parts were capacity building training and workshop for teachers, students and principals, Lagos Education Summit and TOSSE education fair.

    Capacity building training
    Workshop and meetings in Lagos, Nigeria

    From teacher to coach

    The training and the workshop was an intensive two days with the goal to give out few tools and ideas how to engage with students in different ways and combining the mentality of teacher and coach together. First day we had about 30 teachers from various schools and second day around same number of students and their principals. Topic for teachers was “from teacher to a coach” within a day teams together built the profile of an ideal teacher and coach to see how inline together. After an active day, the outcome highlighted few essential characteristics that apply on both, like a good communication skills and empathy. Role of a teacher or coach cant be separated, instead they support each other. Where as teacher has detailed focus certain content and coach on the other carry on broader responsibility extending it outside the traditional school taught knowledge wall as well. The approach got similar support from students workshop where the topic was “How schools prepares me for the future”, while principals following how children from different schools work together challenging and having a dialogue with each other to do compromises in a team in order do achieve commonly agreed outcome.

    The training was combined as part of the Lagos State Comprehensive School program that is new initiative aiming to link vocational skills of students interest. To see outside the training room we had a visit on few schools, one named Vetland. It is new building, built out of sea containers backed up with solar panels to ensure self-sustainability in energy consumption… The future way to do it.

    More official part took up then from Monday 29th august onwards where after few schools visits Lagos State Ministry of Education had arranged a stakeholder meeting where key people from all relevant ministries were present. I had an honor to present briefly an overview picture what happens in Tampere Region and widely in Finland in relation on greater Lagos development THEMEs (Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, as well as Security and Governance) agenda.

    Lagos Education Summit 2022
    Finland delegation in Lagos Education Summit

    Lagos Education Summit 2022

    Following two days were the important event Lagos Education Summit 2022. During the summit, Finland delegation was positively visible as the Ambassador of Finland in Nigeria, Leena Pylvänäinen and Ambassador for Education Export Marjaana Sall, who both kept an excellent opening speech at the venue spreading awareness of Finland and its successful education system. Finnish delegation included members from Finnish Nigerian Embassy staff, PINO-network, Polar Partners, Laurea UAS, TAKK, Business Finland and Finnpartnership. I was also invited to take part in panel discussion sharing some insights about how education system in Finland collaborates actively with private sector. Two days were full of interesting speakers and discussions about the status of Education currently in Lagos State or broader in Nigeria.

    Final last two days were reserved to take part on TOSSE, the biggest Education Trade Show and Conference in Western Africa. Unlike ever in Finland, both days were kickstarted with 30-45 min aerobic/dance lesson with very rhythmic music. Myself wearing a suit in +30 degrees heat skipped that part, but there were tens of people singing and dancing. Energy levels and happiness boosts in different level definitely than many of other conferences I’ve participated over the years.

    Finnpartnership and Education Finland had partnered with the event booking an expo stand to meet participants interested in education industry and opportunities it provides through wide partner network. Not a single brochure of Education Tampere were left after those two days, now we will just see how many of those expo leads will open up discussion to explore business opportunities.

    From the very beginning until the time of departure we were warmly welcomed and hosted by the Lagos State Ministry of Education. We are thankful for the opportunity which was a starting point for many different discussions not only about education but also broader view how support on developing Smarter Lagos. Next step is to turn these discussions into concrete actions points and implementations. Until the next chapter of this story.

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