Implementing Teacher Futures in Sierra Leone

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Teacher educators at Freetown Teachers College (FTC), Sierra Leone, are the latest beneficiaries of support from COL) for capacity-building and resource development towards the Integrated In-service Teacher Training (INSET) Programme for Junior Secondary School Teachers in the country. The INSET is a technology-enabled school-based teacher development programme, supported under COL’s Teacher Futures.

The success of the initial phases of the programme has been due to support from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the good will of the Principal and management of FTC, the commitment by the INSET Core Team, as well as the positive response of the participating teacher educators and teachers.

The day-to-day running of the programme, which involves mobilisation of staff, monitoring and reporting on the activities while adhering to tight timelines, lies with the INSET Core Team, under the leadership of Mr Prince Brainard, the Project Contact Person at FTC. “As the Project Contact Person, one has to show total commitment and sacrifice to the project. Without passion for the project, the goals of the project cannot be achieved. For me, I put my whole being to ensure that objectives are met,” said Mr Brainard.

Mr Brainard understands the value of having regular contact with stakeholders at the partner schools, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of COL’s Teacher Futures programme and responding to their expectations and anxieties. “I had constant sensitisation meetings with school principals and teachers. Sometimes I do it even outside the project timelines. It was not a ‘one-off’ sensitisation. While introducing new programmes in schools, we must be open to them, listen to their views and questions, and give them the genuine answers.”

He adds that he has gained the trust of the school teams by sharing the project proposal with the schools and giving them an abridged version for their daily reference. “I make them feel part of the implementation processes.”

Sierra Leone is among the first countries to adapt COL’s Teacher Futures programme. COL continues to work with ministries of education, teacher education institutions, schools and communities in the Commonwealth towards quality learning opportunities for sustainable development. The success of the Teacher Futures implementation model rests with all stakeholders, including champions like Mr Brainard.

PICTURED ABOVE: Prince Brainard (far left) with members of the INSET Core Team during a workshop at FTC, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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