My recurring problem: how to get strong women to teach the girls and provide a positive role model.
The women who should be teachers by now have not been invested in at the appropriate ages in the past. Accordingly, finding women to recruit as teachers is a real problem. Sadly, even when we find and want to recruit female graduates we have discovered that, in the main, they are not willing to actually do any work at all as they consider themselves above such things. Also shocking is the academic standard of many of them. I have learned that, for so many women, it is quite possible to sleep their way to success so why would they work hard with that option available to them!!!!
EducAid now has 5 women teachers of varying levels of education but with the right attitude and 3 female ex-EducAid students who teach across the three secondary schools. Of these, 3 have the appropriate qualifications and the remaining 5 will start the distance Higher Teachers’ Certificate [all being well!] in the new year.
Sierra Leonean women have mostly been raised in the context of nobody believing in them, nobody expecting anything from them, not believing in themselves, significantly underachieving themselves and therefore they struggle, with the best will in the world, to be the role models we need them to be to the girls in their care.
Training for the female staff this time round was centred on the inspirational model of Ginger in ‘Chicken Run’. Between lots of pep talks, occasional threats, much coaxing and a fair bit of fun, maybe we will get there!
The whole female staff team in training.