The paragon Nigeria we all dream of can only be achieved by a collective effort. Temitope Okesanya, founder of the White Board Project, and the 2014/2015 second best graduating student at the University of Lagos, is one of the Nigerians actively working to ensure that the Nigerian dream becomes a reality. He is doing his bit by making classrooms conducive for young learners.
Tell us about yourself ?
My name is Temitope Oluwaseun Okesanya. I am a graduate of Petroleum Engineering, from the prestigious University of Lagos. I am the last of three children. I am from Epe LGA in Lagos State. I work for the Kazit Children Development Foundation as a Project Coordinator.
What inspired The White Board Project?
I embarked on the Whiteboard Project (WBP) as a result of my predilection for improving the educational learning standard in Nigerian Public Schools. My team and I visited a couple of public primary schools in Abuja, we were astonished and saddened to see that antiquated blackboards and bare walls are still being used to educate our children - the future of Nigeria.
Furthermore, the main aim of this project is the bridge the gap between Nigeria’s educational learning standard and that of developed countries. Bare walls or blackboard usage in education is rapidly becoming outdated in developed countries. This is partly due to both the academic downsides and health risks that may result from their usage. This again was another inspiration to embark on the whiteboard project.
What have you been able to achieve so far with the project?
The Whiteboard Project is a very young scheme; we officially started recently in March; so far we have visited two schools (supplied them with whiteboards and academic materials). Furthermore, my team and I have carried out a meticulous survey to determine further 20 public primary schools with specific needs for whiteboards which are to be visited this quarter depending on the availability of funds. In addition to whiteboards, we also determined what minor renovation and academic supply each of these 20 schools need apart from whiteboards. We are working in conjunction with the Local Education Authority (LEA), AMAC Zone.
What challenges have you faced while carrying out this project?
Lack of volunteers has been a major challenge. We are actually less than 20 on my team, making logistics and project coordination really cumbersome. Furthermore, lack of funds has also been a major hindrance. Since we have no official sponsor, we depend on ourselves and private donations for funds which slows down our pace.
What do you hope to achieve with the project in the long run?
Our long term objective is to restore parity in Nigeria’s educational learning standard and learning environment with that of developed countries. Not only just in Abuja public schools but also in public schools located in every state.
Are there any plans to expand or move to other states with this project?
Yes there are plans. As we speak, our Lagos and Port Harcourt teams are being assembled. We have also received whiteboard requests from schools in some other states, which we would honour by the next quarter. Our first project in Lagos would be in the summer.
How has the project been funded till date?
Personal and private donations, especially from friends and family. We do not have official sponsors, hopefully we would get one soon.
What is the average cost of buying and installing one white board?
It depends on the size and quality of the whiteboard. We usually buy the largest size (8ft x 4ft) and highest quality to ensure long term sustainability. Cost of buying and installation a single unit usually averages about N16,000.00
How can other people connect with this project or support what you're doing?
You can visit our Parent NGO Website, Kazitfoundation.org or send us an email at KazitWBP@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.We would appreciate all the help we can get.
You can check out our previous post on The White Board Project HERE