Towards the end of July, I conducted a social and emotional assessment of our scholars at Usa River Academy and Arusha Modern School. Social and emotional skills include a broad set of competencies that play a vital role in shaping students achievement, adult well-being, workplace readiness, and management of social interactions.
As an organization that seeks to create a bright future for developing nations, the significance of social and emotional skills assessment to our scholars cannot be emphasized enough. The results of this assessment are expected to point out any gaps in the emotional and social development of our scholars. In return, we find ways to integrate social and emotional learning in the various programs we conduct for scholars such as our monthly family cells, youth camp, and mentoring opportunities.
Of the many competencies rounded up in social and emotional skills, there are 15 different skills linked to academic and future adult success. A few of them are: self-control, responsibility, attentiveness, pro-social behavior, and mastery of orientation. Our selected research tool narrowed down these skills to effectively measure self-control, persistence, mastery of orientation, and academic self-efficacy. Our focus is to encourage the development and enrichment each of these skills. For example, building persistence in a child can be done through teaching stress coping mechanisms and how to deal with failure or setbacks; this will eventually strengthen a child’s resilience.
I had a brief meeting with class teachers to present a survey they could answer to further assist students. The teachers were glad to have such a platform to use as a tool to better manage students. Using these kind of surveys, we can measure the extent to which a child can stay focused on a task, how patient they are, how long can they delay gratification, how much they are interested in learning and completing their school work with no supervision, and more of the like.
In addition to questions on the teacher survey, the teachers also recorded both positive and negative behaviors exhibited by our scholars, so that we can encourage and enhance the positive ones and deal with negative tendencies through counseling and putting behavioral intervention plans into action. The outcome of the assessment will tell us of how academically motivated a student is. Its impact on TFFT as an organization, then, is for us to advise our scholars to continue on a traditional higher education path for college after their scholarship ends, or opt for a vocational training college. We look forward to continue carrying out this assessment to others of our partner schools in order to strengthen positive traits in our scholars.