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The Chronic School Hater Challenge

How to make learning come alive with the simple things around us online and offline

Photo of Ngozi Ilondu
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Written by

I am a.....

  • The Inspirational Leader of the School Haters Club

Tell us about your idea

Remote learning sounds like fun until you are a student with unstable electricity and poor internet connectivity who is being made to sit in front of a laptop watching a dark and shaky video of your teacher who is also battling with poor internet and no electricity.

A student who did not like school when it was in a physical classroom won’t start loving it all of a sudden because it is now located on their phones and laptops. My questions to the school system in this Covid-19 era are:

  • Is the teacher still boring?
  • Are the students still dealing with the anxiety of exams and tests now mixed with the anxiety from the pandemic?
  • Are the students still dealing with school work overload?
  • Are the concepts in certain subjects still vague with no traceable relevance in real life?
  • Are the textbooks still hard to understand because the system thinks that textbooks have to be complex to justify intelligence?

Remote learning does not erase the issues that students were dealing with in the physical buildings, it only adds a new set of problems to their plate. If we treat remote learning as just moving school as we know it online, then we have not moved an inch in rethinking our school system

How do we get these students to enjoy learning and make what they are learning to make sense to them?

The Home Magic:  What can the monopoly game teach us about the subject of economics? How can we tie the scrabble game to learning new words that can be incorporated into an essay? How can we use the art of cooking to make mathematics relatable? By looking around our homes and environment, we can step outside of our comfort zones and tie the curriculum to practical examples that students can relate to. I remember falling in love with Economics in high school because my teacher made it a point of duty to connect every topic to current affairs. Most students will fall in love with Math if they can see it in their daily life. See an example of math in real life through this link

Video Playlist Vibes: There are amazing shows and movies on TV, Netflix, Disney Channel, etc that students have no problems sitting down to watch and discuss for hours. What if we connected these shows to certain subjects and tied assignments around certain episodes of the shows. Netflix has been producing great content for high school students with shows like The expanding “Universe of Ashley Garcia” and “Never Have I Ever” that I think we can use to make connections to school work which gives students the best of both worlds. If you knew you were going to write a paper on an episode of your favourite show, you will watch it more closely

New Teacher Perspective: Parents need to accept the reality that not every teacher can connect with their child and use this remote learning opportunity to assist their children to explore new teachers. These teachers can be found in other learning platforms outside of your kids' school. You can find them on YouTube, learning apps, social media, etc. Let your child explore until they find a teacher that they connect with. I used this same concept on my sister and she found out that an Anatomy app was a better teacher to her than her lecturer at the university. My mum used the same concept on me and is the reason why I love maths today.

Buzzfeed Quizzes Fun: Most students, especially the chronic school haters, detest exams and tests. In Nigeria, we call it exam fever because we see students fall sick out of pent up anxiety developed during exam season. Buzzfeed through its quiz platform provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and test their knowledge of random things. It makes you want to test your knowledge without even realizing that you are taking a test. It inspires you to want to score high and keep trying until you ace it. How about finding some quizzes for your students and use that to test what they know and challenge them to skill up their knowledge level. They will respect BuzzFeed's challenge to their intelligence better than the scolding they receive for performing badly at school. See some test examples,

Read the Chronic School Hater: This book was written to all students who are struggling with school to equip them to redefine learning for themsel

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

- The part where students didn't know why they were learning different subjects and topics - The school curriculum that has refused to move into the 21st century - Teachers who have no real passion for education stuck in classroom frustrating their students - The system that makes students believe non-science students are dumb - The system that limits student's career choices to being a lawyer, doctor, engineer, and most recently a programmer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

My name is Ngozi Ilondu, the author of The Chronic School Hater, a colourful, funny but practical book that helps teenagers and young adults redefine their learning experience. I mentor and inspire students who have a love-hate relationship with school to locate learning's amusement park. 

My inspiration to share my idea came from my observation that our new world of remote learning was not considering students who are struggling with school and are anxious about their academics. I want to inspire all the stakeholders in the educational system to use this remote learning opportunity to create the kind of school students will be happy to wake up to. 

What region are you located in?

  • Western Africa

Where are you located?

I live and work in the bubbling city of Lagos, Nigeria


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mohan Gopal

Hi Ngozi.
I'm in line with your thoughts on the education model. Though we may not be able to change it completely, yet, I agree that the method of imparting knowledge should change and replace the stereotype books with more lively, interactive and resourceful content.

Your Video Playlist Vibes is a perfect example for alternative source of knowledge like Ted Ed (, Kurzgesagt (, Khan Academy ( that do provide immense information and knowledge in engaging and creative way.

I would love to know how you plan to implement your idea and how this can scale up to different cultural, social and economical groups of society?

Thanks for sharing your idea.

Photo of Ngozi Ilondu

Hello Mohan,

Thanks for your feedback. the implementation of this idea will happen in stages.

Short-term: Secure more partnerships to distribute "The Chronic School Hater' Book to students worldwide. We have reached over 5000 students in Nigeria and want to reach more in Nigeria and other countries. The book gives school students the foundation to redefine learning for themselves regardless of their socio-economic realities. Students don't have time to wait for school reform so we must equip them to take responsibility for their learning.

Medium-term: Engage more teachers to explore more creative ways of learning come alive for the students in their classroom.

Long term: Engage educational bodies and government to rethink our entire educational system and reposition school to be relevant and engaging to the 21st century and beyond

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