Lagos Chemistry Tutors Engage In New Methods Of Teaching, Motivating Students

Kunle Adelabu

About 300 Chemistry educators across Lagos State were engaged by resource persons on new ways of teaching the subject and making it interesting to students in their classrooms.

Speakers at the maiden One – day seminar for Chemistry Teachers tagged, “Chemistry for Life and The Classroom”, emphasized the need to making the subject interesting for students to learn by using its importance and relevance to students’ daily lives and the continued existence of the society.

The programme, organized by the Chemistry Teachers Association of Nigeria (CHETAN), Lagos State, in conjunction with the Lagos Chapter Women in Chemistry, was held at the Ikeja Grammar School hall, Bolade, Oshodi, Lagos, on Monday, January 29, 2024.

Mr Ogunaike R.O, Vice Chairman, CHETAN Lagos Chapter and Chairman, Planning Committee of the one – day workshop, described the interactive session as a success.

“The programme was about interaction within ourselves and to bring Chemistry to life and to the classroom situation. It is to emphasise that Chemistry is a daily activity that occurs in our lives and environment’, he said.

“This is the first time that we are gathering ourselves together and the programme went successful. We were able to bring here quality resource persons to interact with us and we are looking forward to another programme towards the end of the year”.

Chemistry tutors at the seminar

Dr (Mrs) Olufolayinka Ayandele, member, Governing Council Lagos State University of Education (LASUED), who spoke on the ‘Enhancing Student Motivation and Achievement through the use of Gamification in Education”, sees Chemistry as an integral part of daily lives and getaway for scientific literacy.

She charged teachers at the workshop to inspire students’ passion for chemistry by emphasizing its importance and relevant to their daily existence and roles in shaping their future.

While advocating for the adoption of Gamification and AI methods in teaching to inspire and motivate students to study chemistry, Ayandele said that it has the highest impact on students’ motivation and least cognitive load.

Why charging educators to widen their reach with training and new methods to get the best out of their students, the guest lecture also added that they must see their students’ preference as important to gain their attention.

The educator, who was former Tutor General/ Permanent Secretary, stated that good teachers must take responsibility for their students’ performance.

In her own paper, Mrs Adejobi Monininuola Ajibike, a Director with the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission/School Administrator, also emphasized the importance of chemistry education to daily existence and the imperative of educators to ensure that their teaching is appealing and well understood by the students.

Dr Ayandele engaging Chemistry teachers at seminar

“Chemistry is a life and core science subject. It is vital to the sustenance of life and environment in any given society. As a result of this, it is pertinent that the subject is well understood by our children (students) offering it, starting from the Secondary School level”, she said.

“Although, this is a gathering of Chemistry teachers, for effectiveness, we need to extend our tentacles to the Junior Secondary Schools, possibly in the nearest future to ensure students at the point of exit at this level of education going into the Senior Schools, are properly guided in the choice of subjects.

“This will ensure we don’t have square pegs in round holes in the science (Chemistry) class.

“The Senior Secondary School (SSS) feeds the institutions of higher learning. Lecturers in these institutions are NEVER meant to teach the BASICS. Teachers in the secondary schools, especially the Senior Secondary Schools, should take it upon themselves that it is our duty and responsibility to ensure good comprehension, internalization of topics taught in all subjects (Chemistry our focus), to the point of application. It is after this is done that the students can be properly positioned to be creative, solve local and perhaps global problems”, she charged.

She advocated for the adoption of the new Chemistry Schemes of Works recently unveiled by the Lagos State Government, describing it as a right step in the right direction to reduce rote learning to the barest minimum.

Mrs Adejobi Ajibike, a Director with the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission interacting with Chemistry tutors

She encouraged Chemistry teachers to emphasize the importance of the subject and what the students can do with it on their own, to stimulate their interests and use common and relatable examples in simplifying concepts in the subject.

The Chairman, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Women in Chemistry, Lagos Chapter, Dr Iyabo Phillips, during her session, spoke on the relevance of Chemistry and the need for educators to continually evolve and making themselves relevant.

She explained that the relevance of the subject lies in relating its importance to various sectors of the economy when teaching students.

“Chemistry for life, I want to relate this to the fact that chemistry was relevant yesterday, is relevant today and will be relevant tomorrow. Hence, if Chemistry is this relevant, then you, teachers of Chemistry, can never be irrelevant or obsolete. But this goes beyond the saying, it requires a little more effort and a lot more of critical thinking, and thinking out of the box”, she said.

“And on Chemistry and the classroom, learning chemistry allows students to learn about the scientific method and gain skills in critical thinking, deductive reasoning, problem-solving, and communication.

“Hence, the future of Chemistry is in its application to all sectors of the economy, the era of teaching basic chemistry is gone and has become history. Therefore, every Chemistry teachers needs to embrace this fact and run with it”, she said.

Presentation of award to Dr Iyabo Phillips, Coordinator, Lagos Chapter Women in Chemistry (middie) with her are executives of the association.

While stating that the chemical sciences will be in great demand now and in the future because of the challenges in energy and climate change, Mrs Phillip charged teachers to guide their students on courses that they can study in universities.

“In the same vein, teachers were, therefore, advised to guide the students appropriately in taking decisions regarding their course of study.

“Those days, students were only aware of pure chemistry but here are a range of very good lucrative courses that will favourably compete with professional courses such as: Petroleum Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Food and Flavor Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Petrochemical Engineering, Analytical Chemistry and Applied Chemistry”, she said.

Executive members, Chemistry Teachers Association of Nigeria (CHETAN), Lagos chapter in group photograph

Dr Keshinro, Chief Examiner for WAEC in Chemistry, took the teachers at the workshop through how they can guide their students to answer WAEC questions appropriately.

During the seminar, Chemistry tutors engaged the resource persons with questions and contributions on the Schemes of Work and other areas of teaching.

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