Africa Community Exchange (ACE) Liberia, the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (Zeta) and Liberia Community Network (LCN) over the weekend completed training of 25 private school principals and 11 teachers from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). The two-week intensive training was held in Monrovia from July 10 to 20, 2018.
ACE-Liberia Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Sophie Williams, said her organization, in collaboration with Zeta, KRTTI and LCN, has developed a “Teacher Development and Continuing Education” program to improve the qualification and skills of teachers in the country.
It is currently instrumental in assisting in the creation of a model school in Liberia to provide the template for quality, tuition-free primary education in the nation, with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Education (MoE).
According to Dr. Williams, since 2007, ACE has provided staff development training for teachers. In 2010, it received funding from Plan International to conduct teacher training at Ann Sandell Independent School (ASIS) but partnered with The Link, Incorporated in 2013, and conducted a Train-the-Trainers seminar for participants from the MoE, the University of Liberia (UL), ASIS, The African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) and School for the Blind in Virginia, outside Monrovia.
The recent training exercise was based on the previous model that was crafted during the training of trainers, which brought together a good number of teachers.
As for Zeta Phi Beta, it was founded on the campus of Howard University, United States, on January 16, 1920. The Sorority’s international programs, such as Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel), through mind, body and spirit serve to empower people from all walks of life.
As the sorority moves toward its centennial, it retains its original zest for excellence. It espouses the highest academic ideals and that have resulted in its members serving as trainers of teachers in every part of the world.
Dr. Williams said that the initial focus of the program is teachers that are unqualified but are being assigned in private schools, teaching from K-6th grade, serving low income populations with annual tuition and fees under US$200.
According to her, schools selected for the recent training program are MoE accredited institutions in Montserrado and Margibi counties that have shown commitment to improve the qualification of their teachers and the academic performance of their students.
Dr. Williams said that under the arrangement, the schools will be expected to provide year-round supervision, monitoring and support to the teachers who are trained.
The schools are also expected to benefit from curriculum enrichment activities that include student-centered cognitive activities, language arts, mathematics, health and hygiene, ethics and sex education.
Dr. Williams said that a second training of 80 teachers is expected to take place in August at the campus of KRTTI, near Kakata, in Margibi County. She said that the three-week intensive training workshop will be conducted by the KRTTI’s trainers, who benefited from the previous training.
The training at KRTTI, she said, will focus on basic skills proficiency in language arts, mathematics and science; teaching skills and method. Other areas of focus, according to Dr. Williams, will be classroom management, behavior and learning problems to include content on behavioral change, ethics, civil engagement, personal growth and sex education. Some beneficiaries were provided gifts, including a laptop computer and a camera, by Zeta’s facilitators for their outstanding performance during the course of the training.
In separate remarks, participants lauded ACE Liberia, the sorority sisters for the training and promised to put into practice what they have learnt.
Dr. Williams and other facilitators posed with the participants shortly the training ended in Monrovia over the weekend.