Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 September 2020:
One of Sierra Leone’s primary school – the EducAid Maronka Primary School in Port Loko, northern Sierra Leone will next month play a key part in the world’s biggest grassroots online education conference – World Education Week.
EducAid Maronka Primary School, noted for its work in deepening family and community engagement with the school, is to be part of a showcase of 100 schools that will gather online to share expertise and best practices in the inaugural World Education Week, from 5-9th October, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education (SDG 4).
Those hundred schools have been hand-picked for their expertise across a range of educational themes, such as enhancing employability and life-skills; deepening family and community engagement; the use of technology; a focus on wellbeing; and promoting the science of learning and teaching. Each will share their wisdom to an online audience expected to reach 100,000 worldwide.
The ambition driving World Education Week is to accelerate progress to achieve UN SDG 4, a commitment designed to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.
Centred on the theme of ‘Learning Today’, each school will host a virtual event to demonstrate how to bring change, based on their own experiences.
EducAid Maronka Primary School will talk about how the school has evolved a checklist of roles and responsibilities for parental bodies that re-enfranchises even the less literate members of the community and supports groups which take up a role in supporting those aims.
The Principal of the EducAid Maronka Primary School – Mr Sheku JP Sannoh, said: “The staff and pupils of EducAid Maronka Primary School are inspired and excited to be considered in this spectacular global showcase of 100 schools.
“As the intention of the World Education Week is to allow schools all over the world to learn and think together, so as to improve education from the grassroots right to the policy maker level, with our focus on community engagement in school governance, we are proud to be a founding school of such an inspiring and aspirational project.
“As a school, we are extremely proud to be part of this important project. Our school operates with six themes that underpin our operations and they are the backbone of all we do to achieve our vision. These values are the pursuit of excellence, leadership thinking and behaviour, citizenship values, equality, community resilience and safety of both staff and students. These enable us to achieve our vision of a dignified, democratic and globally engaged Sierra Leone where poverty is eradicated by educated citizens.”
The ground-breaking event is led by Vikas Pota, a globally respected leader and driving force in the education, international development, philanthropy and technology sectors. In launching the event, Mr Pota said:
“I congratulate the EducAid Maronka Primary School for being selected to take part in our Global Showcase for World Education Week. By sharing the ways in which this school has developed its particular expertise, we hope others will feel inspired to undertake the same journey to excellence.
“I am incredibly inspired by the schools that applied to take part in this year’s World Education Week. Their commitment to improving the life chances of their learners by nurturing expertise and wanting to share their experience with others, especially in these challenging times, says a lot about the education community. They are our heroes and World Education Week provides us all an opportunity not just to learn from them, but to celebrate their successes, too.”
The conference has won the backing of Andreas Schleicher, the Director for Education at the OECD, who said: “What’s exciting about World Education Week is the idea of schools around the world sharing their expertise with their peers. After a turbulent period in global education, this is a great way of building back better.”
The project was also welcomed by David Edwards, the General Secretary of Education International, the global federation of teacher unions:
“Teachers have amazed the world by taking the lead in this time of crisis. World Education Week is a global showcase of schools adapting to unprecedented challenges and striving for excellence illustrates that continuing determination against the odds to serve our students. Next comes the hard part – making sure that governments and educators and communities take safe and innovative practices across the world as examples, to build back better a public sector guaranteeing a quality education for every student.”
World Education Week is an effort by thirty civil society organisations coming together after the record breaking T4 conference on 30th May that was attended by over 100,000 teachers.
The event will be hosted from the World Education Week website.
Registration for the event has opened today, 1st September 2020. Please visit the website to register.