In the heart of West Nile, the Integrated Child Service Consult, a non-governmental organization, is making waves through its Foundation 4 Learning project. Funded by the Aga Khan Foundation, this initiative focuses on championing teacher capacity through a unique training approach called Value-Based Education (VBE). The recently concluded 6-day training, held at the Grand Letshuba Hotel in Arua from November 22nd to 27th, 2023, marked a significant milestone in shaping the educational landscape of the region.
With 15 enthusiastic participants, the training was a melting pot of ideas and perspectives. The group comprised seven male and eight female teachers from schools in Arua city and district.
These educators, selected through a competitive application process, had previously undergone VBE training, showcasing their commitment to fostering a values-driven education.
The training was strategically divided into two phases: the initial 3 days focused on immersive sessions, while the latter half delved into practical application through teach-backs. The final leg of the training aimed at transforming the teachers into facilitators, employing the Training of Trainers (TOT) methodology. This holistic approach ensures that the knowledge and skills acquired during the training can be effectively disseminated within the educational community.
The journey began with an advertisement disseminated in schools, inviting applications from teachers eager to be part of this transformative experience. A prerequisite for consideration was prior completion of the VBE training, underscoring the importance of a foundational understanding of pluralism and ethical values in education.
Interactive Sessions With The Participants At The Training
The core objectives of VBE were carefully crafted to empower participants in various aspects of their professional and personal lives. The training aimed at helping teachers:
Identify and Apply Personal Qualities and Competencies: Participants were guided to apply personal qualities and competencies not only to themselves but also to others, grounded in pluralistic values and ethics. This approach fosters a collaborative and empathetic educational environment.
Reflect on Pluralistic Values, Ethics, Identities, and Context: Teachers were encouraged to engage in self-reflection, contemplating their pluralistic values and ethics alongside their identities and the unique context in which they teach. This self-awareness contributes to a more nuanced and culturally sensitive pedagogy.
Reflect on Biases and Attitudes in Education Settings: The training delved into biases and attitudes prevalent in educational settings, equipping teachers with the tools to recognize and address them. This self-awareness is crucial in cultivating positive relationships with learners and fostering an inclusive learning environment.
The Foundation 4 Learning project, spearheaded by Integrated Child Service Consult and supported by the Aga Khan Foundation, is transforming the educational landscape of West Nile. Through the value-based education approach, teachers are not only enhancing their own capacities but also becoming champions who will disseminate knowledge and values throughout the educational community. As these teacher champions return to their schools, they carry with them the torch of pluralism, ethics, and a commitment to shaping a brighter future for their students.