Wrapping Up the Second Term

The 6-3-3-4 system of education in the country calls for two tests every term; the first test (T1) is administered mid-term and the second test  (T2) toward the end of the term after the annual athletic competition.

T2 is a comprehensive assessment covering academic knowledge, skills, and aptitude through both verbal and written testing as well as the students’ physical fitness.

The student’s annual report card, while of course considering grades and attendance, c2939add-bfab-44ae-8fc2-b0d1bd3f59ffalso addresses a more holistic assessment in three major areas:
1) “cognitive” including comprehension and retention of academic material,
2) “psychomotor” including mental aptitude and physical skill, and
3) “affective” including personal behaviour and social skills.

Since they are so committed to their students, EduNations teachers don’t just consider work and behaviour in the school setting.  EduNations teachers also monitor their 6380b77b-d4f0-4966-a69e-63a751509840students both in and out off of class to do a more complete assessment.

While this is just an overview of the assessment process at the end of a term, we hope it conveys how dedicated EduNations staff are to providing the best education possible.

Samuel in the US!IMG_2

EduNations’ President, Samuel Sesay, will be making his annual trip to the United States this summer! If you are hoping to request Samuel to visit or speak at your church or organization, please contact Sarah Pietryga at sarah@edunations.org or by phone at 412-522-4756.

Board Member Visits Sierra Leone

EduNations board member, Jeff Gingrich, made his annual trip to Sierra Leone in earlyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA March. Jeff spent his time checking in with EduNations’ staff and communities, observing clinic operations, and visiting EduNations’ new Microfinance organization. Below is Jeff’s personal update about his time in Sierra Leone.

“I had the privilege of visiting Sierra Leone again in March of 2019.  As board members, we take seriously the need to visit at least once or twice a year to see first-hand what God is accomplishing through EduNations.  These trips are very inspirational to us and to our staff.  As usual, the week was quite full monitoring progress in several aspects of EduNations activities and checking into the potential for future possibilities.  I was able to spend 2 days visiting Rokassa.  The first day was spent checking on progress in the agricultural work that we have been conducting in collaboration together with Pa Santigie, the village Chief.  The pineapple production expansion continues to be “fruitful”, with the additional plants expected to begin bearing pineapples in 2020.  Unfortunately, the “grasshopper” or locust problem has been even worse this year, as they have been severely devouring our cashew trees.  We are looking into several approaches to dealing with this problem, which dates back to Biblical times.  In addition, we are also looking into ways to increase the efficiency of our palm oil production.   While in Rokassa, it was exciting to see construction of the first floor of the Junior/Senior Secondary School well underway.  Later that day, we met to make decisions regarding the Orfonthy Health Center where some slight structural modification were being deliberated to allow for beginning surgical procedures.  The modifications completed have since allowed the first inguinal hernia surgeries to be performed in the clinic.  The staff are now admitting a few patients overnight for observation when needed and delivering several babies each month.  We are collaborating with the government health ministry in both education and vaccination programs.  Toward the end of the microfinance trainingweek, I was able to spend a day at the office with the EduNations Microfinance staff.  It was inspiring to hear hopefulness in the voices of numerous women taking small business loans and training to increase their ability to support themselves and their families.  It is clear that God’s love is being shown through EduNations schools, staff and other activities addressing the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Sierra Leone.”

Micro-teaching Techniques Enhance Learning

Ever since the first school opened 15 years ago, EduNations has been known for providing an excellent education at no cost as part of bringing transformation 9bd5c038-7638-4b06-83bf-9e50e486386athrough education. School is free as students don’t pay tuition and are given uniforms and all necessary academic supplies. The excellence of EduNations schools is demonstrated in the students’ strong test scores. The quality of academic instruction is so well recognized that EduNations’ President, Samuel Sesay, was personally invited to the May 2018 launch of the President of Sierra Leone’s “Free Quality Education” initiative.  Officials in the Ministry of Education Science and Technology said “EduNations schools have already been providing free education before the new government initiative’.  Thanks to your contributions, traditional resources like text and work books, pencils, and paper have been provided since day one.

As part of their ongoing professional development, EduNations’ staff were recently introduced to a technique called “micro-teaching” which facilitates learning with objects readily available in remote villages. EduNations Psychosocial Coordinator Fatu Koroma attended training by a Bangladeshi educator to learn how to use local materials, like broomsticks, bottle lids, sticks, and stones, to teach first generation schoolers in simple and fun ways. Excited by what she learned, Fatu then trained nursery-school teachers in all our EduNations schools.

While in Mapainda, Fatu was able to illustrate a micro-teaching technique for the staff.  She brought the students in one of classrooms to the open field in front of the school building. The class leader stepped forward and one by one the students placed their hands on the shoulders of the student in front of them, blindfolded. Only the class leader could see and had to lead the way. As they marched forward singing local songs, they were learning lessons of trust, teamwork and courage.

a31bf5fc-8c27-4d08-b989-8e07ae55d7deIn another activity, they formed a circle from sticks, broomsticks, and stones with the class teacher in its middle.  The students then sang a chorus, pausing to call a 4 to 5 year-old student’s name and any letter out from the alphabet. Then this student would use sticks or broomsticks to form the letter that had been called. Once the student got it right, the class sang praises and invited another student to form another letter until all had participated.

In a third micro-teaching exercise, the class teacher placed 10 stones in one pile and 5 stones in another pile and invited to students to do addition and subtraction from the piles. This hands-on micro-teaching was also done in a small-group competition to learn math skills in a fun and an exciting way.

The older students encouraged the younger ones and all seemed to really enjoy the learning games.  This lively, outside activity is a great, no-cost supplement to traditional classroom activities.

One student who proudly demonstrated his ability to count from 1 – 100 said that he173c6f38-cb86-4fa1-8688-39149e4a9db7 practiced counting by counting stars at night. He was quick to add, “but my neck sometimes hurts, and the stars are far too many to count.”

Mabinty Kamara, the head teacher of the nursery school in Mapainda, observed that by using local, easily accessible materials and micro-teaching techniques:

  • Classes are much more lively, interactive, and engaging
  • Students are improving their confidence and comradery
  • Students realize that learning is not confined to the classroom

This is just another example of EduNations staff continuing to explore new techniques to provide the best education to the students in our care.

US Students Participate in Annual Fasting Event

Students from Memorial Park Church participated in their annual event, Fast for Leone, on April 5-6, 2019. Fast for Leone is a 24-hour fasting event that raises money for students in Sierra Leone. Students begin fasting at lunch time on Friday and break the fast together with a lunch on Saturday. During this year’s 24-hour event, 10 students gathered together to play games, worship, pray, and learn about Sierra Leone and the bikes 2019 2work EduNations is doing in the rural villages. On Saturday morning, they volunteered at a local organization before breaking the fast together.

This year’s Fast for Leone event raised money to purchase bicycles for students in Sierra Leone. You see, many students in Sierra Leone walk up to 8 miles to get to and from school each day, as there are no other means of transportation. Students from Memorial Park Church raised over $1,000, which will provide bicycles for 45 students! This is a huge blessing to our students in Sierra Leone.

Thank you to the students from Memorial Park Church, as well as all those who donated towards this event.  You are making a difference!