An Exciting Week in the Life of the EducAid Education Team

EducAid’s Education Team

The EducAid Education Team is a group of passionate educators who are dedicated to improving teaching and learning in the EducAid schools and contribute to national educational development. Come and see what we’ve been up to this week:

EducAid Schools: We are always reflecting on our own teaching strategies to make sure that we achieve our vision together so this week Foday Kalokoh met with the head of EducAid Rolal and the senior secondary students to strategise together on how best to work cooperatively to achieve their common goals.  Further meetings were held with the heads of the two secondary schools on the same issues and to ensure we are able to best support the WASSCE candidates in their exam preparation.  There were also mini-training sessions run on exam-style questions and marking for some staff who are supporting in building up English Language teaching capacity.  Reflection and informal training are key to our ongoing growth and learning.

For EducAid, it is vital that we constantly reflect on our practice so we can keep growing and improving.

Community engagement in the Education Innovation Challenge (EIC): Aruna Kamara & Abu Bakarr Mansaray visited 10 of the EIC schools in Port Loko district to ensure that the school and the community and the Ministry reps are all on the same page about the school improvement project, their roles within it and how they can all make sure the improvements are sustained long after the project has ended.  One of the key components of EducAid’s ‘Quality Enhancement Programme’ for school improvement is the engagement and re-enfranchisement of the community in upholding standards.  We know that the Ministry of Basic & Senior Secondary Education has limited manpower to reach all the corners of the country but the communities in which the schools are based, when informed of their roles and responsibilities, can play a transformative role in ensuring schools run increasingly well.

For sustainable change, the community provide the best governance mechanism once they understand their roles and responsibilities

Fact-finding with the Education Development Trust (EDT):  In preparation for the new Global Partnership for Education (GPE) project that EducAid is undertaking with EDT, we have been out and about meeting with key education players across the north of the country.  We have had extraordinary cooperation from the Chair of the Conference of Vice Chancellors and Principals, Professor Edwin Momoh who gathered his team in Magburaka to discuss Foundational Literacy & Numeracy (FLN) curriculum review, training support for lecturers and bridging the gap between pre and in-service teacher education.  MBSSE, TSC & MTHE have made themselves available in Freetown last week and facilitated an excellent meeting with NCTVA this week. We were grateful too for the rapid mobilisation of the Kambia MBSSE & TSC teams for a great series of school visits, where we observed lessons, interviewed head-teachers, discussed teacher assessment tools and collected data in the district education offices.

When changing the FLN teacher training curriculum we have to walk the whole journey with the assessing body – NCTVA turned out en masse for the first meeting – great to see.
Numeracy lessons – What’s going well? What needs support?

International collaboration: Part of EducAid’s vision is that Sierra Leone be globally-engaged and we try and live up to that in our day-to-day activities.  This week that involved Foday C and the History Department engaging with young people in Tennessee who are exploring the relationships between Sierra Leone and the US.  This was part of an on-going exchange project. 

The Tennessee students who participate in the SL/US history project

Green Schools Intiative: We also had our weekly progress meeting on the ‘Green Schools’ initiative.  Foday is supporting Samson, Organiser, Manso and JP as they lead a range of activities in their respective sites as part of the Global ‘Rethink Plastics’ project, the latest in a series of engaging projects that connect learners all over the world in addressing environmental concerns.  Our anti-plastic rap isn’t quite ready for broadcast yet but we’re not far off! 😉

Supporting change in the capital: Emmanuel Bailay has been out supporting his team of cluster mentors who are working with all the Freetown primary and junior secondary schools.  We are pushing and the needle is moving.  EducAid is partnering with Rising Academies and the Freetown City Council to establish 15 minimum expectations in all of the schools in the city.  We are excited to see that many of the schools are already making strenuous efforts to get these in place.

Working to etablish minimum expectation in Freetown schools

Lifelong learning: And, while we drive around the country, engaging teachers, students, educators and education authorities, we try and make sure we are pushing our own learning too.  Thanks for this week’s listening to @msoskil and @mrs_smoke for a few of their ‘Education for a Better World’ podcast episodes.

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