March 20, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The British Council has been providing its own little support in various areas to help improve Sierra Leone’s educational system, with the training of teachers and lecturers being one of their interventions.
As the United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational and cultural relations, the council recently funded the training of English lecturers attached to teacher training colleges in some parts of the country to help improve their teaching skills.
The training at Njala University campus in Bo, south of the country, brought together a total of thirty-six lecturers from Njala, Freetown Teachers College, Eastern Polytechnic, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and technology in Makeni and Porto Loko respectively.
During the three-day training, the facilitators; Fiona Rowand from the UK and Dr. Saidu Challay from Njala exposed participants to the introduction and familiarisation of the Tech English Radio (TER) series 4 Programme as a product of the classroom and were taught how to use the 12 modules in the programme in the classroom.
Also, participants reflect on student-centered learning as exemplified in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s recently written English Lesson Plans for Primary and Junior Secondary School grades.
According to the Project Delivery Coordinator at British Council, Umaru Fofanah, the aimed of the training which is under the council’s Professional Development English project, was to help in strengthening the role of student centered learning in teacher training college curriculum and practice.
He said participants were expected to cascade what they have learnt top their colleague teachers in their different colleges which was why they labeled the training as ‘Training of Trainers’ workshop.
He stated it is their expectation that teachers would use the TER series 4 materials and adapt them as modules in classroom sessions and discussed modules in the series during staff-room meetings to enhance better understand and sharing of best practices.
Mr. Fofanah urged participants to help popularize the TER series 4 programme to teacher trainees, while also listening to the radio to understand their roles in organizing phone-in- discussion programs at radio stations to better explain the programme context.
“We expect teachers to produce an action plan of how the student centered learning will be integrated into the Teacher Training College curriculum with particular exploitation of lesson plans, TER and any other materials produced,” he stated.