After an impressively successful first year, the EducAid and Smarter Hospital Foundation Teach-the-Teacher project is once again underway in Yele at the schools renovated by the Smarter Hospital Foundation with local businesses and sponsors. In its first year, the programme established trust between the teachers and EducAid’s teacher trainers and introduced new ways of working in the schools. These new ways of working improved relationships and classroom management with data across all five schools showing impressive improvements in literacy, student attendance, staff attendance and the attendance of girls compared to other schools in the area. The schools ended the school year with impressive National Primary School Exam scores (four out of five schools received close to 100%).
Smarter Hospital Foundation and EducAid were eager to build on this success and will continue to work together on the Teach-the-Teacher-Project building in sustainability and increased teacher and community ownership of the programme. This year began with 1 week of training for teachers who were new to the schools (18 teachers). They reviewed what was covered the previous year and then joined the other teachers for a second week of training that build on what had been learned. 61 teachers (including 5 Head Teachers and the 18 new teachers) worked together during this 2nd week of training that began with sharing the data from the previous year. One participant noted, “I am really pleased with the way the data was analysed. This clearly tells us that we have been making progress.” Teachers learned about the importance of Growth Mindset and learned about Sierra Leone’s new professional teaching standards from the Teaching Services Commission. They also engaged in learning activities that illustrated how play can help learning and how to set and achieve weekly goals as a school.
Teachers agreed to incorporate “good touch, bad touch” messages into their classrooms and learned about equality initiatives that a number of teachers will be working on to establish in their schools such as Girl Power Groups and White Ribbon Campaigns, a group that engages boys in ending violence against women. This year there has been a great deal of growth in how to nurture children’s learning in the classroom as one participant shared, “I learned about how my feedback can build pupils’ confidence and help children to embrace challenges.”
EducAid trainers have continued to support the training and development of the teachers with a support phone line, school visits, lesson observations, Head Teacher meetings, Reading Circle support and more. EducAid has been absolutely inspired by the progress the Yele teachers have made and are pleased with the progress towards increased ownership of the programme by the teachers as they have been more willing to ask questions, share recommendations and their needs more vocally.
EducAid and Smarter Hospital Foundation are continue in Yele.
On December 11, 2018, the Smarter Hospital Foundation and EducAid have again signed a contract for the extension of the teach-the-teacher project for at least another year. In September 2018 during the visit of the board to Yele, an oral agreement has already been reached with Miriam Mason, Country Director of EducAid in Sierra Leone and the work has started. Again more than 50 teachers will follow the 2nd part of this program with more attention for equality between teachers and pupils. And the new teachers will also undergo an accelerated program to reach the same level as the current teachers. This program will not only improve the education of more than 50 teachers, but also give 2,500 pupils and 10,000 inhabitants of Yele more opportunities for a future.