Teach. Lead. Impact – How Araminde Akintimehin is changing the lives of Nigerian students forever.
Aramide is a young school teacher in Nigeria, who used her strong work ethics and adaptable skills to educate children in her community. She tells her story of persistence, self-belief, and her opportunity to go to Harvard.
The first thing you need to know about Aramide is that she has big heart which is undoubtedly evident in her career field as she hopes to change the education system in Nigeria.
‘ Above all, to see every child have a quality education irrespective of their socio-economic background.’ – Aramide Akintimehin
Building a relationship with her pupils is an essential part of Aramide’s teaching style because she believes that through knowing them deeply, one can change their mindset which in turn has the power to change their path in life. It all started when she heard about the results of some teachers in a particular state of Nigeria. Teachers that had written a basic level four competency test had decided to take the test. To their surprise, 33000 out of the 21780 of them had failed the test woefully.
As a result, Aramide decided to make a difference because hearing this news broke her heart. Since then, she decided that she was going to do whatever she could do to change the trajectory of the education system in Nigeria. Aramide applied to the Teach for Nigeria fellowship and was successful and thus her journey in the education space was born.
Teaching at St Peters RCM School in Nigeria had not been easy. Having to communicate with children in their own cultural language was a barrier to Aramide. But having her future vision in mind pushed her to be persistent and overcome this barrier. She learnt the language of the children to ensure that her students received the best level of teaching, not only understanding the concepts that are taught in the classroom, but also being able to generate these situations into real-life problems.
Aramide’s vision did not come overnight and her action was inspired after she learnt the heart-breaking fact that the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria had just increased from 10.5 million children to 13.2 million children (UBEC). Many children in her community could not afford to get educated due to financial constraints. The high rate of out-of-school children in Nigeria was unacceptable to her and hence she decided to make a difference.
When asked for a list of things that a citizen could do to provide support to disadvantaged children in the world, Aramide answered with:
‘There is no list. If you have a problem in your own community, get up and solve it.’ – Aramide Akintinmehin
Now, Aramide has been accepted at the prestigious Harvard to continue her education, by doing a Masters in learning and teaching education. After being encouraged by someone close to her to apply. Aramide knew Harvard was important to her and set up a GoFund me page to make this vision come to pass. Only further showing her attitude of determination and persistence. Luckily, Aramide has been able to raise the 68,000 dollars needed to attend the university.
Aramide leaves us with the notion that ‘everyone will not accept you when you step out and choose to pursue your purpose’. That is a lesson that she wishes she had learnt earlier. In the next five years, we hope to see Aramide set up twenty state schools for low-income students, increase the number of educated children, and improve the lives of the next generation.