By Christy Anyanwu

Ebi Obaro is an authorized Canadian Immigration and Schooling Advisor. She stays in good standing with the School of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), and the Canadian Affiliation of Skilled Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). A graduate of Meals Expertise from the College of South Financial institution, London, she can be the Chairman of the Nigerian Canadian Enterprise Affiliation. With over 20 years of expertise working with college students and immigrants to Canada, she based Maple Canadian School (MCC) after cautious analysis of the experiences and desires of worldwide college students in Canada. Not too long ago, she spoke with Saturday Solar about her foray into overseas schooling and immigration. Within the interview, she suggested mother and father on greatest methods to help their wards of their academic pursuits.

How did you get entangled with Canadian schooling?

It’s not by probability that I received concerned in Canadian schooling. I didn’t stumble throughout it. My household comprising seven of us, 5 youngsters inclusive migrated to Canada 25 years in the past at a time when Nigerians didn’t present any curiosity in Canada most likely as a result of they weren’t conscious of the nation or as a result of it was too far. So, having had our 5 youngsters undergo Canadian schooling – some from elementary faculty and all of them via secondary faculty and college, in 2000 I had the thought of selling Canadian schooling in Nigeria. The concept got here from the truth that having had our kids undergo the schooling; one may see the gaps within the Nigerian schooling curriculum. So, we established Maple Canadian School (MCC) about 20 years in the past to recruit Nigerian college students to Canadian colleges. At the moment, we didn’t have a faculty. College students had been going into Grade 12, which is the final 12 months of secondary faculty in Nigeria. That’s, the pre-university class or they’d go straight to the colleges or faculties with their WAEC outcomes.

What was the vacuum that you just noticed that gave start to your determination to assist Nigerians safe Canadian schooling?

We found that Nigerian college students had been struggling in class. The distinction within the syllabus was starting to point out, particularly in English and Sciences. All of us declare to review English from major faculty. However there are a complete lot of variations with regards to the standard of English that we all know. After which we’ve got a number of issues with our writing expertise. So, Nigerian college students who received into Canadian universities discovered it tough to put in writing. And there’s a lot of analysis and writing of papers. However right now, our college students right here discover English totally different. For the primary two years, it was tough. However now we’ve got been capable of get them to do very effectively in English.

How about sciences and arithmetic?

They discovered sciences and arithmetic additionally tough. I bear in mind as soon as when the then Nigerian Ambassador to Canada challenged me. He stated: ‘why don’t we open a Canadian faculty in Nigeria in order that Nigerian college students at that early age, most of who’re 16 years previous, can do the Grade 12 programme in Nigeria earlier than going to the college in Canada?’ It is because we may see a number of them struggling till they turn out to be disillusioned. They had been failing. And there was a number of considerations from their mother and father that their youngsters weren’t doing effectively. They may not perceive why. So, that problem was there for a few years. At the moment, I didn’t see us having a faculty. However a time got here once we determined to do that. So, we arrange Maple Canadian School to bridge that hole between the Nigeria secondary faculty syllabus and the Canadian highschool curriculum.

How have you ever been capable of handle youngsters contemplating the pressures that include adolescence?

While you consider Nigerian schooling, everyone knows that there are gaps within the curriculum.  Generally, you discover out that the curriculum has nothing to do with actuality. There’s all the time the necessity to switch what’s realized in school to what’s achieved in the true world. That was actually for us the best problem. Having to come back right here, undergo the Canadian curriculum after which apply the data, is the best problem that they’ve needed to overcome.  One other factor is that they haven’t realized easy methods to do issues well timed, so when deadlines are set, there’s normally a problem to fulfill the deadline. These are the issues they undergo within the first few months, struggling to fulfill deadlines. While you miss deadlines within the Canadian curriculum, there’s a penalty for it. You are inclined to lose marks as soon as your deadline has handed. So, we needed to get them to grasp the necessity to meet deadlines and make sure that their works are prepared on time they usually have the privilege of exhibiting them to their instructor right here in Nigeria earlier than they submit them to their Canadian instructor. In addition they had large points with plagiarism. There is no such thing as a framework put in place for plagiarism within the Nigerian curriculum. So a toddler doesn’t know that copying and pasting with out citing sources is against the law. And there’s no tolerance for plagiarism within the Canadian curriculum and even within the western world. That they had a number of educational integrity points in the beginning and there are phases to dealing with these educational points with Rosedale and the Canadian curriculum as they’d normally start to catch in on what’s required of them inside a couple of months right here.

You talked about that Nigeria’s curriculum doesn’t meet up with requirements. What are your options on the way it may very well be improved to fulfill the worldwide requirements?

When a toddler passes via the Nigerian system and goes straight right into a overseas college, they’re confronted with so many educational challenges on the market. These had been the foremost causes that Maple Canadian School was established. Nigeria’s schooling system doesn’t correlate with actual life. Sadly, all people is passing via the identical system, together with lecturers. And so the tendency is that the result will all the time be the identical. The individuals instructing and people receiving find yourself the identical. So there’s a want for coaching. I’m not within the faculty of thought that we must always take up one other particular person’s schooling system. I believe that what we’ve got is powerful sufficient, what we want now could be to place some extras into it – a evaluation. There is no such thing as a time once we evaluation and when even the evaluation goes to happen; it’s not achieved by educationists however by individuals exterior of the schooling sector who’ve a clue of what’s occurring inside. So if this evaluation goes to be achieved and achieved with the intent to enhance the result, then educationists want to sit down down, have a look at our curriculums, have a look at real-life and discover a strategy to put some stability into what the scholars are studying. After which infuse expertise. We have to infuse expertise from the grassroots – the first in order that they aren’t left behind as a result of after they go exterior, they’re left behind. And, a number of college students now do the additional. Those that need their youngsters to review overseas, really go the additional mile to do one thing extra for his or her youngsters, in order that they aren’t left behind in the event that they go exterior. That wrestle won’t happen if all these items had been put collectively. So, a number of coaching have to be put in place for the lecturers. However for the non-public faculty, I need to confess that I don’t see a decline. I’m seeing extra of a push in the direction of what is important.

So, in essence, the issue is with public colleges?

The kids within the public colleges are those who’re methods behind. And so authorities should, as a necessity, put issues in place in order that these youngsters can leverage. Then, there isn’t any hazard that one youngster goes full velocity forward whereas one other youngster is left behind. That simply determines the place they may find yourself. Authorities simply wants to grasp the place of schooling and put all the pieces that it wants into it. I additionally assume that schooling must be sensible, associated and enjoyable, so infusing expertise into the curriculum will go a good distance in making college students perceive higher what they’re being taught. And the lecturers should be licensed in particular topics to have the ability to train the scholars successfully. Aside from the hole within the curriculum, Canadian content material is far more superior than Nigerian content material. A few of our college students taking physics right here are actually subjects they didn’t train within the Nigerian curriculum. Think about what’s going to occur in the event that they go straight to the college in Canada to review engineering.

Who influenced you as an individual?

I believe it was my father. My father has seven youngsters and all of us are nonetheless alive right now.  Anytime, we sit down and speak about our upbringing, we all the time speak about our father. I bear in mind once I was in secondary faculty, somebody requested me sooner or later, ‘Don’t you may have a mom? You all the time speak about your father.’ I informed her, in fact, I’ve a mom. My father was very a lot concerned in our upbringing. He was a gift father. He was all the time house after work. He would sit us down and discuss to us about issues. He was a soldier. A number of occasions, he had gone overseas for coaching. He had a overseas publicity. He doesn’t imagine in spanking. He would quite sit you down and inform you what you probably did is improper and you’ll be weeping such as you had been crushed. That was much more painful than beating. My father made positive that he offered for us, and guided us; he was there for us. That is the primary time really that I understand that my father is my position mannequin.

As an educationist, what classes have you ever realized by way of relating with mother and father and college students?

In my career, particularly coping with Nigerian overseas college students, I discover that the present-day mother and father do so much for his or her youngsters. After I went to highschool, my mother and father weren’t a lot concerned. They only assumed that I’ll do the best factor. We selected the college we needed to go to. However I came upon that now, mother and father are so concerned. They do all the pieces for his or her youngsters.

Their youngsters not have the push to do issues for themselves. They aren’t concerned within the programme that they need to research generally. You discover college students finding out one thing that their mother and father need them to review. I believe that ought to change. Kids ought to be concerned within the programme they need to research in order that they do it effectively. Nigerian mother and father imagine they might pay their charges. Generally they don’t have the funds and they aren’t practical about having the ability to pay their youngsters’s faculty charges. Do what you are able to do to your youngsters. Even after they research in Nigeria, they are going to be positive. Don’t stretch your self past what you are able to do which could outcome within the failure of your youngsters overseas. You’ll be able to’t pay their charges. The kids are simply there, and we’ve got seen that occur to a number of the college students. Mother and father imagine by religion that they will sponsor their youngsters after they can’t.

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