Dignitas is always looking for professional development opportunities for our amazing team members. We were so pleased when our Programs Director Roselynn, was selected as one of Acumen‘s East African fellows for 2020. She shares here some of her reflections on her journey so far.
As part of Acumen EA Fellowship 2020, we have been learning about Authentic Voice; using our stories as leaders to influence the desired change we hope to see in the world.
“Every child deserves access to quality education regardless of their background or social-economic status.”
But is this the reality? Often times schools in marginalized communities are given little to no budgetary allocation and support in instructional leadership. The eventuality of this has been cyclic poverty in these communities and general economic underdevelopment at large.
As a school-going child, I remember attending these schools on the two divides. On the one hand, my pre-school, in an urban setting, had competent, firm and friendly teachers who seemed to balance individualized and peer learning experiences that were engaging, fun and more practical than theoretical.
Then I transitioned to a primary school in the marginalized North-Eastern province of Kenya; poor infrastructure, nonexistent operational systems, shelved policies and tired demotivated teachers who were more focused on drilling students to cover the syllabus and await their meager salaries at the end of the month. Annually, only a dismal percentage of students managed to join high schools eventually. So what happens to the larger disadvantaged majority? What can be done to bridge this gap on educational inequality?
Civil society organizations and the government can collaborate and partner with the community at large to make this dream a reality: adaptable school registration policies, fundraising, equitable budgetary allocations, infrastructural support, teacher professional development, curriculum development and delivery support among other coalitions. Retooling and reskilling school leaders and teachers as curriculum implementers to facilitate learning for the 21st century learner cannot be overlooked.
At Dignitas, we envision a world where schools are a vibrant place for children to build the strength and character to thrive and succeed. As such, we realize that team work makes the dream work. We intentionally pursue different government accreditation and partnerships to eventually make access to quality education a reality for the communities that we serve. Our partner schools drawn from private and community schools in the marginalized urban informal and rural settlements experience school leadership challenges. Over the years, we have refined our school leadership model that has seen learners outcomes improve in these schools; increased curiosity and self-efficacy, communication and collaboration.
As we reimagine schools as they should be and rethink school leadership as a powerful tool in revolutionizing educational gains, we welcome like-minded stakeholders in the education space to make the dream of access to quality education a dream come true for the current generation of learners!