I HAVEN'T EVER BEEN IN A SUPERMARKET.
That was in my JSS 3 computer class in 2016 when I was serving my country in the mandatory national youth service corps as a secondary school computer teacher. I was trying to explain to my class that computers are useful even in a supermarket when a female student said out loud that she hoped to go to a supermarket someday. I took out my mobile phone and showed her what a supermarket looked like on YouTube. That was when it hit me, computer education is necessary for the mind of a child.
I grew up in a rural area which was outside the power grid, but my mom insisted that I got a computer literacy education. This exposed my mind to the world outside my village. And studying computer science at the university endowed me with enormous problem-solving skills. So, I decided to give the over 200 kids enrolled in the place of assignment the privilege that I enjoyed by teaching them how to use a computer. First, we needed a functional computer lab, then a power source and lastly extra time to use the computers. Firstly, got some key teachers interested in the idea of a computer lab so that they can back me up when I make a formal request to the proprietor. The proprietor was interested in the idea and allowed me to use a room which was sort of an archive for old materials and books. I got the bigger kids together and we cleaned out the room, then over the weekend, we fixed old broken furniture turned them into tables and benches. Then I spent time with the senior students using parts from one of the old desktops to fix the other two - this way I was trying to show them the internal components of the computer. Seeing the progress, the proprietor bought a generator, especially for the lab. I began to use the lab to teach students using my PC as one of the computers for practical. Whenever there was a large class, I borrowed laptops from my fellow corps members to augment. When my service year was almost over, I started to solicit donations for the laboratory. I got two extra laptops for the lab.
During the last of my two-term stay at the school, the senior students started to help me teach the younger students. They went from holding a mouse upside down to typing up the draft of the school magazine and teaching their juniors how to use the computer. After I passed out, I was pleased to hear from four of my former students that they wanted to pursue a course in computer science. I have since tried to replicate this model in more rural schools.
Leadership is about making others become better versions of themselves and as with my former student, I always take every opportunity to make team members grow. Chevening scholarship will grant me a new dimension of exposure to learn from a global community and support my work I bringing computer education to students in rural areas with perhaps more impactful methods.