Today we get to hear form our wonderful Learning and Evaluations Director, Melissa!
With the inception of the strategic plan and transitioning to a new leadership on the ground, the past months had been very busy for all of us at The Foundation for Tomorrow. As Learning and Evaluations Director, my work includes making sure the team is supported in coming up with implementation plans for 2012 and 2013. This includes making sure our programs are aligned with the strategic objectives of TFFT, and identifying key indicators by which to monitor and evaluate our programs. Add to this holding the fort while we waited for the new Managing Director, and of course doing my main work, which is Teacher Training. But busy is good. So just to give you an idea of what I have been doing recently, I hope you’d find the time to read through this.
In November, I was lucky enough to get qualified for the Postgraduate Diploma on Curriculum Development and Design course being facilitated by UNESCO and International Bureau of Education and hosted in Africa by the Tanzania Institute of Education. The course attracted 52 participants from 19 different countries in Africa. I was away for the most part of November because of this course and I was so blessed to have been allowed by The Foundation for Tomorrow to take the opportunity. The 2-week face-to-face session in Dar es Salaam was a mine of information especially on curriculum trends and debates—information that I believe would enrich my planning and implementation for the Teacher Training Program. It also gave me the opportunity to network with people from the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and inform them of what we are doing in the service of education. I am really bent on making sure that this connection would bear fruit especially in expanding the Teacher Training Program to include government teachers in and around Arusha.
With Renato Opperti, Coordinator of Capacity Building Programme of the International Bureau of Education – UNESCO:
With Dr. Paul Mushi, Director-General of the Tanzania Institute of Education:
As soon as I got back to Arusha, I had to immediately start preparing for my trainings. First on the list: the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Training for our partner schools and organizations. M&E is a buzzword—for sure you have heard about this bandied about so many times. M&E is crucial for organizations because it is key to constantly improving performance. As an organization that works in partnership with schools and orphanages, we thought it very necessary to hold this training and rightly so. The achievement of our mission and our vision is greatly hinged on our partners’ success in their own programs. Monitoring progress and evaluating outputs and processes enable us to show evidences of our efficiency and effectiveness and also to communicate our achievements to the wider public. But M&E is not just for making sure your donations are being rightfully spent (which is of utmost importance for non-profits like us)—most importantly, it is for quality assurance and a fulfillment of public trust. The 2-day introductory training gathered 17 participants from our 3 partner schools and 3 partner organizations. The 2 days were fraught with a lot of learning and hard work. Kennedy Oulu, the same guy who led TFFT through our strategic planning process, got all of us thinking and thinking hard about key performance indicators and how we can go about planning towards their achievement. At the end of the training, TFFT committed to supporting the partners in their M&E concerns as well as establishing a community of practice where we can get together every now and then to talk about matters M&E.
Managers all—Rebecca Jackson of Seeway Tanzania, Margaret Mmbaga of Usa River Academy, and Father Edward Shefre of Star High School work together during the M&E workshop:
TFFT, Matonyok Parents Trust, and Star High School representatives working together:
Two days after the M&E Training, I immediately commenced my week-long training with the secondary section teachers of the Usa River Academy. The workshop saw all secondary teachers of URA get re-tooled (Madam Margaret calls it changing oil!) on classroom management, lesson planning, assessment, and teaching techniques. It was hectic since I do my trainings alone, but it was all worth it. It is always a joy working with educators. I am a teacher myself, and I always believe that the single most important factor in affecting the quality of education is the quality of the individual teacher in the classroom. That is why I am so grateful for the support that all of you made for the Teacher Training fund drive during the SOS Gala—your support enables us to make quality education a possibility for students in this side of the world where we operate. Nashukuru sana!