Passion

Modupe Ogunyemi
2 min readAug 20, 2020

Today my thoughts veered towards teachers and the concept of passion in education, especially early education.

I’ve been talking for a while now about the disruption of the traditional education system in Nigeria by technology and the acceleration of that disruption by covid. Yes, I deliberately wrote covid in small letters because enough is enough already :-).

Anyway, the likes of uLesson, an e-learning startup in Nigeria, have seen a surge in customer numbers in the last few months. And I have been quite vocal about urging people in the education space to upskill and retrain themselves to be able to participate in this digital economy. But I know some of my remonstrations will fall on deaf ears. Some because perhaps the time is just not right for that person, some because…well, passion.

There’s a difference between a teacher who is teaching because he or she could not get another job and one who is teaching because he or she wants to and loves to. If you have been privileged to be tutored by a teacher who has a passion for teaching, you will know the difference.

The impact of passionate teachers on students especially in the formative, early years, is immeasurable. I had one such teacher in high school, Mr Taiwo. He had his quirks but he loved his job. Quirks along the lines of religion and religious beliefs o, nothing immoral. But man had a passion for imparting knowledge to students who were willing to learn.

I was one of a small group he identified as having potential in Literature class and he took it upon himself to proffer coaching in English & Literature. The coaching eventually became free. I mean he actually told our parents he would teach us for free. And he taught so well that I had an A in English. As unserious as I was back in the days, I aced my WAEC English & Literature. Passion!

A girl’s influencer challenge video went viral on Twitter a few days ago. The video was hilarious quite alright but that wasn’t the reason it went viral. It went viral because people recognised her mother as the (I don’t if now retired) VP of King’s College. The tweets about her mom and her impact on their lives were as many as they were heartwarming. I retweeted the thread just so I can go back to it from time to time. It is a rare, spontaneous, unscripted piece of joyful goodness. Not one person spoke ill of her mother, not a single one. And if you know how savage Naija Twitter is, you’ll understand how special that is.

On the flip side too, I’ve seen reports of how private school teachers have been unpaid and struggling since March. To be honest, it’s hard to keep the fire of passion burning if it’s not putting food on your table. I don’t have the answers but perhaps e-learning might be a light at the end of the tunnel and a way for teachers to diversify their income.

Might be worth a thought…

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Modupe Ogunyemi
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I’m a cocktail of: digital strategy, media & marketing, product management (I’m actually PMP certified), filmmaking (yes, I have produced a Nollywood movie)