The Friends Secondary Educators Workshop

John Muhanji planned a great workshop for the educators. Over three days, we interacted with about 60 educators. Eloise and I were responsible for four sessions out of a total of nine. John had the Provincial Director of the Ministry of Education as the keynote speaker, an Educational Co missioner as the closing speaker, as well as a quality assurance officer from the Ministry of Education. In addition, a professor from a local university addressed strategic planning and a school finance expert dealt with the principal’s role in school budget management. Eloise presented two sessions on conflict resolution along with a review of the peace and reconciliation curriculum project. I presented a session on trust as a key component of leadership, along with a session on a model for vision and action in leadership. I also facilitated a conversation on academic creaming which turned into a very important element, as John was very interested in getting feedback from the principals and other leaders on his plan to develop a network of support for helping each school improve in their academic output.

Throughout the three day conference, there was a lot of conservation among the participants and a good atmosphere of congeniality. Our hosts at the Bungoma Tourist Hotel did a fine job of keeping us supplied with water, and with food and drinks during the meal and break times. We had Kenyan tea at breakfast, and with tea, in the late afternoon. We had chicken, ugali and vegetables for lunch and dinner, served with bottled soda (Coke products). Also, during break times, and during several lengthy debriefing sessions with John, Eloise and I discussed with him next steps.

I would say that this workshop was a strong success. With the quality of presentations, the great interaction, and the general sense of resolve and enthusiasm, John deemed this to be the best workshop that he had organized to date. He believes that gradually he is earning the trust of the Ministry of Education, as well as building the strength of the relationships among the Friends schools. It is apparent to me that John’s vision far exceeds his grasp. I am now reflecting on how we might be of further service to him. It does seem that a key piece of the puzzle is to help John fund an education director position working out of his office. We discussed how much would be needed to do this (not much according to American standards) and what the scope of responsibilities would be for the person who would eventually occupy this position. Finally, we discussed the possibility of seeking external funding to help further the project along.

On a parallel track, Eloise and John spoke about what type of tasks might be accomplished by an additional visit by Eloise in July. I reviewed with John my requests for data on the Friends Schools’ test results. We sketched out a research project that would seek to identify high performing schools (based on growth in student achievement, not final output). Overall, this was a tremendous blessing for me and well worth the effort of those participating.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Africa, Education, Friends

One Comment on “The Friends Secondary Educators Workshop”

  1. Odeke Isaac Says:

    ever thought of taking your workshop plans to bungoma tourist hotel


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