Posted: Thu, March 08, 2018 | By: Nigeria
by Abdulrahman Aliyu
Place: All Saints International College, Kaduna, Nigeria
Time: 10:30am to 12:30am
BACKGROUND TO THE WORKSHOP
I contacted All Saints International College, through my brother who was once a teacher there. He coordinated and got them to agree to include the workshop in this week’s school program. The management agreed. Besides they claimed since am giving the lecture freely, handouts free and even refreshment to the students, what do they have to lose? I undertook one class which contains about 50 students. About half of their senior secondary 1, which consist of more than 100 students.
CHALLENGES. The school management demanded to see my identity card, which I don’t have, unless other forms of identity card that I posses but not as a member of Brighter Brains org, or as a Critical Thinking instructor. But then, I explained to them that this is the first Critical Thinking workshop that Brighter Brains is carrying out in Nigeria, so we haven’t really properly arranged an identity card yet, but we will nonetheless and soon. Also the school complained to me, that I should have written to them formally requesting an inclusion of my workshop to the school weekly program. I apologize for that, and explain that I thought coming through my brother will have smoothed my relation with them. Then funny enough and lastly the school authority complain to me that why didn’t I give them their own share of snacks and drinks that I gave to the students during the workshop. Again I apologize and promise to make some changes in the next workshop. A teacher who happens to be a bit more religious than the rest was seemingly not happy with the workshop cause of the issues I sighted as an example that “Religion and culture shouldn’t be exempted from the Critical Thinking “iDoubt” system”. But overall the school authority were really excited and shows their gratitude to Brighter Brains.
I was very subtle and careful not to sound as if I am attacking religion but the message was clearly and passionately well received and understood by the students. I gave them all my phone number in case of further questions. The workshop began at exactly 10:30am and ended at 12:30pm, I make sure I gave them enough examples and included the students in the process. A student named Fatima asked me, if her parent said something to her, and she suspected it to be untrue, wouldn’t she be rude by asking them questions and even criticizing the issue at hand? I pointed out to her, that that’s exactly why Leo Igwe the author, suggested that in asking questions, or expressing doubt, one has to be polite and kind, for if not the person being asked might take it differently and might be aggressive. I further told the class the essence of being a Critical Thinker isn’t for hurting someone but to finding the true picture of what is being presented to us. We had a very interesting class, with so much inclusion of all the students and myself in the entire session. It was quite a topic for them all. And I received a few calls from the students ever since and a few messages on WhatsApp.
I will be needing an identity card, perhaps a laptop and a printer that will enable us to carry on the workshop without spending on printing and photocopy. Thanks