Visual education expert visits Ibadan schools


Editorial note (EK). This is the text of an (unillustrated) article distributed to Nigerian newspapers for publication. It describes Marie Neurath's fact-finding visits to several Ibadan schools during her first visit to the Western Region of Nigeria over the summer of 1954. MN kept cuttings from three papers in which the whole text, or excerpts from it, appeared. They include the Southern Nigerian Defender (22 July 1954; whole text, lead story), the Nigerian Tribune (22 July 1954; excerpts), and the Daily Times (24 July 1954; excerpts). The author is not known.

(Article typescript and newspaper cuttings: I.C. 3.2/169)

Visual education expert visits Ibadan schools

Mrs. Mary Neurath, a Visual Education expert, who recently arrived in Nigeria from the United Kingdom, last week visited a number of junior and senior primary schools in Ibadan to study what visual aids were available in these schools for the instruction of the children, with a view to improving their own work in visual education. She was particularly interested in village schools. She had earlier visited some of the more advanced schools in Ibadan.

Commenting on the advantages of visual aids, she said that a book with attractive pictures in it had the effect of compelling an otherwise disinterested child to look at those bright pictures, thereby reading the footnotes explaining the pictures and acquiring the necessary knowledge at the same time. She added that what was seen in pictures registered a far more vivid impression in the minds of children than what was read merely in letters.

At St. Paul's Yemetu Anglican Junior Primary School, she saw wall drawings in African art, with captions in the vernacular, intended to teach how to get good water supply and how to prevent the pollution of a stream serving as a source of water supply.

At the Islamic Mission School, Odoye, Nigerian exports and imports were indicated by means of two picture boards, each having photographs of the articles involved. Mrs. Neurath spent some time here and enjoyed the rhythm of the school band together with songs by the school singers.

Mrs. Neurath also visited Christ Church Senior Primary School, Mapo. A history revision chart showing the position, mountains, rivers, climate, vegetation, occupation, etc. of various places, prepared by a pupil, Olatokunbo Odukoya, and another indicating the relative parts of a pound sterling, drawn by Lamidi Murano, also a pupil, fascinated Mrs. Neurath. The teacher in charge disclosed that the pupils (both of them in Std. VI) prepared the visual aids entirely by themselves.

Mrs. H.P. Adekoya, teacher in charge of Std. VB, explained that a wall drawing showing the various means of safeguarding health by [the] prevention of diseases, with footnotes under the pictures, had produced good results, and pupils could say in their own words what they had learned from the pictures.

At the Olubadan School, Mrs. Neurath saw good examples of visual aids for junior primary children, especially in the arithmetic lesson, where the marble game assisted the pupils to count. Another system demonstrated to her consisted of rows of match boxes, some boxes containing beans for counting and the other bits of hard papers neatly cut and bearing numbers which children were required to look [at] before counting up the number of beans corresponding to any specially chosen number.

Mrs. Neurath was specially interested in the school farm which was a concrete translation of the pupils theories in agriculture. She inspected maize harvested by the pupils from their farm. The headmaster of the School, Mr. Winjobi, conducted her round and explained how manure for the school farm was obtained through the compost pit system.

Mr. Winjobi further explained to Mrs. Neurath how the school farm was operated on the crop rotation system. The farm had four plots devoted to cassava, groundnuts, yams and maize.

Giving her impression of what she had seen at the end of her visit to the schools, Mrs. Neurath said that a wonderful progress was being made in the educational life of the people. She added that there was also [an] enormous amount of drive and optimism in the people.


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