By Taiwo Ogunmola-Omilani,
Seven of former US presidents, including Barack Obama were “lefty.”
Yet, for the left-handed people of the world, life isn’t easy. Throughout much of history, massive stigmas attached to left-handedness meant they were singled out as everything from unclean to witches.
Though the world has gotten progressively more accepting of left-handed folk, there are still some undeniable bummers associated with a left-handed proclivity: desks and spiral notebooks pose a constant battle, scissors are all but impossible to use and–according to some studies–life-expectancy might be lower than for right- handed people.
According to estimates, approximately one-tenth of the world’s population is left-handed, yet many common articles are designed for efficient use by right-handed people, and may be inconvenient, painful, or even dangerous for left-handed people to use.
Many “lefty” were encouraged or forced to write and perform other activities with their right hands. But, according to experts, this conversion can cause multiple problems in the developing left-handed child, including learning disorders, dyslexia, stuttering and other speech disorders.
In most schools across the country, teachers complain that left- handed children are slow learners and give them special work to do. In a chat with one of the private school teachers, he said such child gives teacher double work to do and that they try as much as possible to see if such child could use his or her right hand.
Recently, at a seminar organised by Mrs Yinka Ogunde tagged, Total School Support Seminar Exhibition (TOSSE), Mrs. Adekola Atoyebi, Director of Studies schools and Heritage House, Montessori Teachers’ training centre, emphasised the need for parents to kick against changing their left handed children to right all because the teacher does not want to be stressed.
She said, “you have option of taking away your child away from such school before they destroy his or her life.”
Whether a person favours their right hand or their left and what this reveals about brain function, has been studied for at least 150 years. However, researchers still don’t understand why around 10 per cent of the population turns out to be left-handed.
Experts posit “If your child is naturally left-handed, don’t try to force them into using their right hand. While we know very little about what influences hand preference, we do know that handedness reflects the wiring of the individual brain.”
While lecturing the preschool educators, Atoyebi said teachers handlingleft-handed children from 0-5 pupils must take their time to teach them things that would affect them positively.
“Early childhood has potentials and at that age, the brain cells must be well used in order not to die. There is need to lay a right foundation; most teachers feel children don’t need to learn much, so they abandon what they are supposed to teach them”, she said.
Atoyebi stressed that in maximising children’s potentials, much emphasis should not be laid on academics alone but on talents such child possess saying, “ if the foundation is not solid, the future is broke.”
In his own contribution, Dr Tunji Abimbola who is the acting principal of Day Water Man College emphasised on the need to have quality teachers who will produce the kind of students that the country needs.
“I think we haven’t set ourselves vision. This determines the direction of travel. We need to know what we want for our education sector. The quality of our teachers need to be looked at. Any education in the world cannot be better than the quality of the teachers”, he said.
. Abimbola maintained that the kind of teachers the nation have seems not to be preparing the children for that world the nation envisages or want, saying the teachers are not properly prepared .
He stated further, “we need to go back to our drawing board. We need the right people as both teachers and principals. A lot of countries are now turning teaching into a real profession. We need to change the curriculum that produces our teachers”.
Meanwhile, the principal consultant, Edumark Consult, Mrs Yinka Ogunde has charged Lagos State government to release teachers of public schools to join the yearly programme tagged, “Total School Support Seminar Exhibition (TOSSE).
Speaking in an interview with newsmen at the 9th edition of TOSSE, Ogunde stressed that she had made all efforts to make the public schools teachers part of the yearly seminar but all proved abortive.
She said the public school teachers need to be part of the yearly seminar because it would go a long way in transforming the lives of both teachers and students.
She said the nation needs people that understand the problems facing education sector and proffer solutions to them.