Bridge teacher in first ever Nigerian national teacher TV show

12 August 2019

The first Nigerian teachers TV show (Teachers’ Reality TV Show) is being hosted in Abuja, with a Bridge Teacher from Lagos among the contestants. The show is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. It is designed to shine a spotlight on the incredible work that teachers do across the country in building the nation’s future.

The competition for the show saw teachers from across Nigeria compete for one of the prestigious fifteen spaces available.

Teacher MaryJane Ikeakaonwu teaches Primary 6 in Bridge International Academies, Daddy Savage in the Fagba area of Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos. MaryJane’s teaching focuses on the ‘big four teaching moves’ to manage an effective classroom and improve learning outcomes:

  • Learning to follow the teacher guides to deliver effective lessons;
  • Checking on each and every child’s learning;
  • Responding with feedback that accelerates pupil learning outcomes, and;
  • Motivating pupils towards good behaviour and academic effort.

It is through the lens of these ‘big four’ critical teaching skills and associated teaching techniques that teachers learn the approaches and techniques necessary to teach effectively in every lesson, every day. 

MaryJane Ikeakaonwu’s teaching success comes from training that is focused on using a modern child-centred teaching philosophy, best practice classroom management techniques. In her classroom MaryJane focuses on narrating the positive, encouraging children and ensuring that no child is left behind using techniques such as scanning and wait time. Approaches such as corporal punishment are banned in her classroom as they damage pupil-teacher relationships and undermine a child’s ability to learn.

In Nigeria and elsewhere, teachers rarely get the support they need to be effective. MaryJane is lucky to be part of a network where she receives daily and weekly feedback on her teaching; uses technology to help her teach lessons in the best possible way and benefits from ongoing training to help her achieve the best learning outcomes possible for her children.

Talking about her excitement at appearing on the first ever teachers TV show, MaryJane Ikeakaonwu said: “It’s amazing that I’ll get to be a champion for teachers. Teaching is such an amazing job. Every day I get to help children shape their futures. I’m educating the lawyers, doctors and engineers that will shape the future of their communities and also help build our great country.” 

“It’s such a privilege. I hope that the TV show will help people across Nigeria see what an amazing profession teaching is and encourage them to support  teachers in their communities, or even become one!”

Commenting on MaryJane’s participation into the competition Rhoda Odigboh, Bridge Nigeria’s Academic Director, said: “We’re so proud of MaryJane’s success, to place in the top 15 teachers across the whole of Nigeria is an incredible achievement. The whole Bridge family across the Continent wishes her the best of luck. Bridge believes that all teachers should be given the support to succeed and that with ongoing support, training and resources every teacher can excel. MaryJane will have an opportunity to showcase to Nigeria the training and teaching skills that make her and all Bridge teachers so successful.”

Odigboh added, “Our teachers must take credit for the success of their pupils. It’s the dedication, passion and hard work of our teachers who enable us to transform the opportunities for children each and every day across Nigeria.” 

Bridge teachers are proud of their recent success in the federal common entrance exam which saw pupils from economically marginalised communities in Lagos excel, winning places at some of the best schools in Nigeria. 

In addition, a UK Department for International Development  (DFID) study—that included Daddy Savage —showed that Bridge children in Lagos have equity of learning in their schools highlighting the irrelevance of a family’s socioeconomic background; a truly groundbreaking finding.


For further information, please contact:

Femi Awopetu, Public Relations Manager | | +234 703 177 9818

Notes to Editors

The Teachers’ Reality TV Show show runs from the 10th August until the 24th August and will be held in Abuja. Details of the show from the organisers is here

MaryJane is one of 15 candidates to enter the reality TV show house. She is a teacher at Daddy Savage Academy in Fagba community, Lagos. She teaches primary 6 and has been teaching since 2010.

A video of MaryJane can be found here.

MaryJane has a BSc degree from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State and a PGD in Education from the National Teacher Institute, Kaduna State. Over the course of her professional career, MaryJane has impacted the lives of many children as a result of the hard work and dedication she puts into teaching. 

She has earned awards for the best teacher in the various schools where she has worked including the 2018 Teacher of the Year at Bridge, Nigeria.

Bridge opened its first two schools in Nigeria in 2015:

  • In Lagos and Osun Bridge runs 63 low-cost community schools for parents directly. 
  • In Borno, a tripartite partnership with the Borno State Government and the Nigerian Stock Exchange supports a model government nursery and primary school. 
  • In Edo, as technical partners in the state-wide public sector education transformation programme that is being spearheaded by the Governor of Edo State. 

In 2018, a report by DFID Nigeria revealed that there is equity of learning at Bridge schools in Lagos. The DFID study included MaryJane’s academy, Daddy Savage.

In 2019, Bridge pupils in Lagos sat the Federal Common Entrance Exam, with pupils excelling and gaining places in some of Nigeria’s best secondary schools.

About Bridge

Bridge runs or supports schools in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, India, and Liberia.

Bridge believes every child has the right to high-quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents, and teachers to ensure access to quality education. Bridge uses in-depth teacher training and support, advanced lesson plans and wireless technology to provide pupils with a meaningful and life-changing education. It runs or supports over 1,200 schools and has educated 500,000 children.

Globally, there is an education crisis. Around 600 million children are either not in school at all, or in school and not learning. Bridge is committed to helping tackle this through a data driven, evidence based approach that delivers strong schools and a great education for all.

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