One of the great conundrums in promoting bicycling is getting cycling integrated into the Nigerian schools curriculum as an educational activity under physical and sports. When asked, people rarely admit to having bicycling education, fatigue and sports in our Nigerian schools, institutions. This will encourage more rides.
We recommend bicycling to be adopted as a General Course in our tertiary institutions. A special Traffic Skills Class TS100, will build the confidence which is necessary to set both bicyclists and motorists to share the road with each other.
“Education” is relatively cheap and easy to do when compared to a major trail project or bicycle plan implementation yet, it is actually quite labour intensive and has to be repeated year after year to have a permanent impact on the people. There are just a handful of critical messages to teach bicyclists and drivers yet we can quickly be hung up trying to impart too much information, or arguing about who is more to be blamed for traffic flouts on our roads.
The starting point for Bicycle Friendly Nigeria is the League’s own Smart Cycling Education Program. We will certify Cycling Instructors in part of the communities and businesses, through designing and organizing seminars to get their staff into the program. Having instructors is one thing; we also want to see them actually sharing the good information that is in the program by teaching classes in cities. We are hoping to see significant volumes of students being put through Traffic Skills at paces.
A successful implementation of this broad education program depends on the accessibility of the material and the instructor’s approval by the state authority. With a 9-hour TS100 class as our standard course duration, BFN applicants will also be rewarded for finding creative ways of delivering that information in bite-sized pieces. Lunchtime brown-bag presentations at work sites, 2-hour skills classes at the local bike shop, and pre-ride briefings
at bike club events, etc. The Safe Routes to Schools Program is obviously not just a bicycling initiative, but also a sure way to increase the number of kids riding bikes. We asked communities to tell us how many schools are participating in the program and we scored their performances (school/communities) based on how much of the available resources they are capable of attracting. A best practice emerging from cities may involve the city hiring local cyclist advocacy group to take a fleet of bikes and teachers to area schools to systematically deliver bicycle education to the Pupil. The Safe Routes Program will extend to colleges and universities and there will clearly be need to educate students in colleges and campuses as there are hotbeds of cycling activities and there are huge opportunities to teach lifelong bicycling safety skills through classes, clubs, events and bike the campus in addition to the traditional TS100 Traffic Skills Classes. The delivery of education through schools, colleges and universities, will engender Bicycling innovation and creativity in delivering bicycling safety education messages. The program has penciled a series of specific for her targeted audiences and a wide variety of media that will be used to good effect around the country.