Tuesday, 3 May 2016

MEET EMEM THE EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT MAKING ALL THE DIFFERENCE



Emem Opashi is an exceptional person, who close friends and family call 'Em' describes herself as a wife, mother, educator, business owner, household manager and most importantly a child of the Most High God!




FAMILY BACKGROUND
I was born in New York; grew up in several other countries with my 2 older brothers and younger sister then- with my dad then a senior career diplomat and my mum.


EDUCATIONAL HISTORY
I have just completed a Masters in Education (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment- Walden University) and also have a PGDE in Educational Leadership (University of Leicester), including a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management (EDC). My first degree is a BSc in Psychology from the University of Ibadan.



WORK HISTORY
I worked as a class teacher in some really great international schools for my first 5 years of working post-NYSC, and then had been involved in quite a number of 'Train the trainer' short term programs with Int'l development bodies.

The past 12 years have been me running a group of educational services companies as the Managing and Founding Director of the School Resource Center, The Sage School and All About Kids.


HOW DID YOU DEVELOP INTEREST IN EDUCATION?
I've been in education all my working years and always had an interest in working with children- I believe my interest may have been harnessed from the diverse experience of schooling in different settings in my Pre- and Primary years. Education gives you the opportunity to help students discover what they can be- then help them develop it further through quality education.



WHAT WORK DO YOU DO AS AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT?
As an educational consultant, I have been involved in establishing quite a number of new schools in the FCT, organizing teacher training workshops reaching over 950 teachers in total over the years, hosting an Annual School Needs Exhibition to connect businesses and schools (next one in May 2016!!! #ASNE2016), publishing the first ever Directory of schools, developing teaching aids for schools, setting up libraries, school outfitting and organizing international education study visits- phew!!!!!



TELL US ABOUT THE SCHOOL YOU FOUNDED
The Sage School is an Early Childhood center catering to '6 to 6's!!!!' (Crèche to Kindergarten) and as the Founding Director, our vision is to provide a quality, flexible, meaningful, enriching and fun learning experience to our students; building a strong and lasting foundation in their early years. We have grown into this niche gradually and hope to establish a few more centers in the city in the near future. 


WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
The quality of education in Nigeria needs a total overhaul and it'll take a major commitment, strategic planning and partnerships for us to advance noticeably. Virtually every single country I have visited or researched on complain about their education system though, so do note that too! I believe a major summary of our case in Nigeria is that the 'stakeholders' in education really have no stake in our educational system in the first place!!  We have a lot of work to do in order to reveal the value and potential benefit to the country and world at large of diligently reversing, healing, structuring and developing our education system.


YOU HAVE THIS EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITION EVER YEAR, HOW DID THAT IDEA COME ABOUT?
 
Through out the year we meet various companies offering services and products that would benefit schools but would do better if they had the right platform. And we also feel it's a great forum for schools to gather and prepare for their next school year. Any companies out there, do reach out to us to book your stands- it's May 18/19th at the Abuja Sheraton. Everyone is invited! School owners, parents, teachers, students, other companies, education stakeholders, ministers and other decent people!!!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS AND CAREER CHOICES FOR CHILDREN?
When it comes to career choices nowadays I would like to believe that parents are becoming more knowledgeable about supporting their children to pursue courses more relevant to the society's needs and their own strengths too. Personally, I am working with my own children to ensure they are making choices that support this, for example my first son is a pure Arts A'level student and my second son is already showing great strengths in the Sciences. So I'll likely have a Creative Art Digital guru graduate and an Electronics Engineer for the boys! And maybe a fashion designer daughter (so far, that's her plan!)



YOU ARE ALSO THE HEAD OF DEPARTMENT OF YOUR CHURCH.
Being the Head of Department for the Father's Church children unit is a great privilege and a lot of hard work- bless the Lord for His grace!


HOW DO YOU THINK PARENTS CAN ASSIST THEIR CHILDREN?
Parents can assist their students to achieve great results by being as involved as possible, praise their efforts, know what they are being taught, treat each child as an individual, know their strengths, pray for them, partner with their schools, supervise their homework, listen to them, love them, encourage them,.....

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR EDUCATORS?
Educators- keep educating, be lifelong learners and stay current in your practice- maintain the ethics of the teaching profession and find joy in what you do: molding lives to enrich the society.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Emem - I am SOOOOOO proud of you! Its been almost 30 years, and I cannot believe your passion and success in the education field. I just came across the article. I wish you continued success in all that you do, and best of luck as well.
Lots of love,
Isi (your neighbour from Saunders Road, Ibadan)

Discussioni Cuore said...

Em - Amazing work. Really good read. And it's nice to know that your passion for child education has brought you this far. Here's wishing you more success. And I pray that your gift will continue to make room for you, adding no sorrow. May you stand before "kings and princes" of nations.