Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) in collaboration with Oxfam has launched an initiative in Liberia that is aimed at developing students’ abilities and the values needed for active citizenship, respect for human rights and intercultural understanding.

The new initiative, which was recently launched in Monrovia, is tagged ‘Transformative Education’ and will bring about transformative teaching/learning processes that will enable students to reflect upon and re-evaluate their former beliefs and experiences. The Programmes Coordinator of KEEP, Desmond Samuels, noted that transformative education is intended to transition students from old learning styles to modern-day education and to transition teachers from old ways of teaching to new methods.

He added that KEEP hired a consultant to teach its staff and teachers what transformative education is about, and how it can be rolled out in schools. ‘The consultant was given a task to develop a teacher training manual, which was validated by the NGO Forum’, he said.

The Gender Justice Programme Manager of Oxfam, Loupu G. Blackie, said, ‘It is done by promoting democratic educational environments, including democratic relationships between learners and educators, democratic management structures and the participation of parents and local communities in education. If new values and ways of thinking and behaving are a result of reflection and re-evaluation, they must be embedded in the broader context too’.

Blackie also noted that ‘from Oxfam’s point of view, education is never neutral but is a powerful political instrument to create either exclusion and oppression, or positive change, such as increased equality, peace, and democracy.  Therefore, transformative education is a central concept in Oxfam education for change strategy, which is about integrating the values and attitudes of learners to unlock their transformational power. Through transformative education, Oxfam aims to develop abilities and values needed for active citizenship, peace, democracy, gender equality, respect for human rights and intercultural understanding. It also promotes learners’ academic and practical skills, life skills and different technical/vocational skills in order to prepare them for the world of work’.

The pilot of the initiative has begun in five schools in Montserrado County including the June L. Moore, Goba Town, Bahr Town, Arthington and Millsburg public schools.

Source: Liberian Observer

Photo source: GotCredit

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