SUNY Oswego assists Nigerian education training effort

SUNY Oswego’s Benjamin Ogwo led a team of five other faculty members to his native Nigeria this summer to help train college professors in preparing teachers for technical vocations.

SUNY Oswego’s Benjamin Ogwo, second from left in the second row, led a team of five faculty members from SUNY Oswego to his native Nigeria from June 13 to 24 as consultants for the University of Nigeria’s train-the-master-trainer program at the Centre of Excellence for Technical Vocation Education in Nsukka. Other faculty members in the Oswego team included, in the first row, Michael LeBlanc, left; Margaret Martin, assistant professor and chair of vocational teacher preparation, second from right; Donna Matteson ’83, M ’88, associate professor of technology, right; and in the second row, Eugenio Basualdo, associate professor and graduate coordinator for VTP, behind LeBlanc; and Matt Spindler, assistant professor of VTP, second from right. They joined faculty members from four universities in the University of Nigeria system and their host, University of Nigeria Vice Chancellor Bartholomew N. Okolo, first row, second from left.

“The American model is well-respected there,” said Ogwo, assistant professor of vocational teacher preparation in the SUNY Oswego School of Education.

Nigeria, a country with evolving technology industries, took on the Oswego team as consultants, with the assistance of a STEP B/World Bank grant through the University of Nigeria.

The Oswego team discussed modern teaching techniques — introducing video in the classroom, video shooting and editing, basic statistical procedures and using software for analysis, effective instructional slide shows, work-based learning, applications of multiple intelligence theory, comparative advantages of synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous online course delivery, and more — with faculty counterparts in Nigeria.

“The overall experience was incredible. The participants all want to continue an ongoing dialogue,” said Margaret Martin, assistant professor and chair of vocational teacher preparation.

Ogwo would like to see the consulting-team, train-the-trainer concept, extended to other Oswego academic departments, at home or abroad.

“To possibly have a group come here from Nigeria would be a wonderful experience,” he said.
Ogwo and Martin said the Oswego group also hopes to make its team approach transferable to train-the-trainer programs in other developing countries.

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