BY ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM
Enuagwuna Ubaka is the Convener, Teachers Naija Reality TV Show. In this interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, he speaks on the teachers campaign against Covid-19, and the trip to Dubai for last edition.
You changed your name from Teachers Reality TV show to Teachers Naija. Why?
The name teachers’ Reality TV Show actually covered what we wanted to achieve in the show but after the first season, we evaluated the season and decided to go for a name that is modern, youthful, nationalistic, interesting and captivating. We hope that the new name ‘’Teachers Naija’’ will give the show more needed publicity and acceptance in the society.
What was the experience like in the first season?
The first season of the show was fantastic; we were surprised at the level of acceptance the show gained. People from different parts of the country and outside the country watched the show and they also gave promising comments. The teachers enjoyed their stay in the house; we made sure that they were comfortable and also professional while they were in the house. During the show, we made sure that there was no nudity and use of foul language in the house because we want our show to stand-out as a professional show that can be watched by all kinds of persons no matter the age.
What is the Teachers Campaign against Covid-19 about?
The idea was borne out of the desire to make teachers proactive and responsive to the happenings in the society. Gone are the days where teachers take the back seat, teachers need to take their original position as the educators of the society. We started the campaign so that we as teachers can lend our voice in the fight against covid-19. When all teachers key-in, it will send a signal that this fight is for real and everybody in the society needs to be serious about it. Schools are closed down and everybody wants to go back to the society as quick as possible, with this kind of campaign, a lot of people will adhere to the rules of the lockdown and that will reduce or end the spread of the disease.
How can teachers be part of this campaign?
It is very simple, teachers all over Nigeria and the rest part of the world can have access to the campaign banner by going to their facebook profile, they will click on their facebook profile picture and it will take them to another menu where they will see “add frame”. A specially designed frame has been made on facebook which can be accessed from all over the world. By the time they click on ‘add frame,’ their profile picture will automatically go into the frame. The writing on the frame reads “I am a teacher and I am fighting against Covid-19”. They can share the frame to other teachers and also use the frame on their WhatsApp, twitter or Instagram pages. For the teachers that don’t have a Facebook account, they can go to our instagram or facebook page to download the frame and add their pictures by themselves.
Are you doing this campaign alone or in collaboration with a government agency?
We are actually doing this campaign in collaboration with the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. We have formed a partnership with them even in the organization of the reality TV show and the council has contributed a lot to our plight and our dream of making the teaching profession better than it has ever been.
One of the evicted housemates in the first season complained about leaving the house, what can you say about this?
Yes we heard about the complaint and we want to make it clear that the first season of the show was very well organized. The housemates except the very person that made the complaint was happy and grateful to the organizers for giving them the platform to express themselves and also putting them in the map as the first housemates of the first teachers reality TV show in Nigeria and Africa. There were a lot of positive testimonies and comments from both the housemates and the people that watched the show. Because you were evicted from a show and as a result, you go about saying negative things about the show, it does not speak well about the person’s character and personality. We still maintain that Teachers Naija will always give the teachers the very best in our show and we will keep improving.
What other plans do you have on ground to boost the abilities and effectiveness of teachers in Nigeria?
I must say that this pandemic has greatly exposed the abilities of the Nigerian teacher especially in the area of ICT. A lot of schools are now involving themselves in the online school as a result of the lockdown and this has really exposed the ICT ability of our teachers. During the lockdown, we brought in experts in the area of Digital skill that can enhance the ICT ability of the teachers. Because we could not bring the teachers together as a result of the social distancing, we organized an online season for teachers to learn more about online teaching. It was a nice experience for the teachers and we hope to have more of that in future.
You took three winners of your show to Dubai, how was the experience like?
Yes, it was a wonderful experience for the three winners of the show. We made sure that we fulfilled all the promise we made to the winners. All the financial benefits and also the educational interventions we promised their schools were all delivered. The Dubai trip was an experience that cannot be forgotten so soon, it was actually the first time the three teachers will travel abroad. The Dubai experience gave them a sense of belonging and self-worth, for the first time, they felt very proud to be addressed as teachers. One of our objectives for having this show is to improve the perception of teachers in the society and also help teachers to see themselves as important personality, with the international exposure we are giving our teachers, the students and also members of the society now see teaching as a profession that is noble and also rewarding. We hope to reach as many teachers as possible.
What plans do you have for the second season of the show?
We are working very hard to make the second season of the show possible this year. The covid -19 situation has greatly slowed us down but we hope to pick-up from where we stopped. We are also talking with a lot of potential sponsors to come onboard for the second season. We want to increase the rewards for the winners also reward those that made to the house without winning. The second season will be bigger and better and we hope that we will have all the needed support and sponsorships we need.
How can teachers Naija contribute to the entertainment industry just like other reality TV Shows?
Another notion we want to correct with the show is to let the general public know that teachers are not boring. A lot of people think that teachers are boring, I tell you that amongst teachers we have various talents like comedians, musicians etc. those that watched the first season saw a different perspective about teachers. These days we see teachers teaching with comedy and music, some dramatize, permit me to say that teachers are the most complete individuals on earth because they wear different caps of professions. the second season of the show will be more entertaining and we are also working on increasing the coverage level. We want the show to have a global reach so that people from all parts of the world can see what we are doing in Nigeria. We also wan to increase the airing time, this will give the teachers the opportunity to have quality time in the house while also educating and entertaining the general public. I must say that the second season will take the entertainment industry in Nigeria by storm.