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School Competence Pilot - Apex International School, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Below is the view of one of the co-facilitators at Apex International School on Thursday, 19th February, 2009:
"My View
The process was quite a wonderful experience. It was so thrilling and loaded with interactive exercises. It is another beginning in my educational career/endeavours. It has taken me from nowhere to somewhere in helping people to come to terms with their problems and find a way forward. Yes, it has reshaped my approach to helping people become active participants in their own development. It is new, modern and worth trying in any organization where things are not working well. It brings about team spirit and objective thinking in a bid to move an organization forward. It is exciting and development oriented." Joseph B. Vandi - Facilitator

Indeed, it is a different way of approaching educational problems. Joseph Senesie, my trainer/coach, is quite a wonderful person – throughout the morning and afternoon sessions he was full of energy and humour. He made the process pleasant and interesting. I look forward to a similar experience in other learning institutions in my country, Sierra Leone.
Joseph B. Vandi – Competence Facilitator

More to come on the School Competence Experience.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Joseph,

I am Sirinate from Thailand. I have applied the ACP in the school competence process among the Burmese migrant schools along the Thai-Burma border. I have no background on education and thus my application is based solely on the school teachers...on their dreams especially...the 8 practices come from them. They are (1) school facilities, (2) teachers capacity, (3) networking, (4) enabling environment, (5) school management, (6) parent and community involvement, (7) resource mobilisation and (8) student development. Please note that these the practices of the poor and small migrant schools situated along the border. Their situation is different from the normal schools. It would be nice to learn more from you what are the practices you have developed for the school competence process...any adjustments on the 5 levels?

Looking forward,

Hi Sirinate,
Thank you for your response on the School Competence event in Sierra Leone. You are interested in learning more on the practices the teachers developed for the School Competence Process. They are as follows: Academic excellence, Language/Speaking good English, Lateness, Learning materials, Parental monitoring, Teacher motivation, Parent-Child relationship, Concerns for pupils, Parent-Teacher relationship, Counselling sessions, Theft/violence/discipline, and Negative peer pressure. Also, the teachers defined the various levels for prioritized practices such as Academic excellence, Teacher motivation, Parental monitoring and Language/Speaking good English.

Perhaps we should work on having a draft SA framework for 'School Competence' which will include the practices you mentioned in your response and mine for furture use. We will then circulate for contributions. Again, thank you for your interest in the 'School Competence" at Apex International Secondary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Hi Joseph

I think it is terrific that the self-assessment is being used to improve education and I am interested to learn more. For instance who is assessing themselves- the teachers, the pupils, the parents or a mixed group? I guess they would each rate themselves rather differently and the conversation between those groups would be interesting to facilitate and listen to. [I can see this having a big impact in England to bring those three groups together to improve education.]

In the Constellation we encourage looking for strengths and so I wonder whether we can find other phrases for 'Lateness', 'Theft/ Violence/ Discipline' and 'Negative Peer Pressure'? My own preference is to find an active phrase to describe the practice rather than a single word. So for example instead of 'negative peer pressure'. I might have 'pupils encourage pupils'.

Is there any chance I could get a copy of the self-assessment framework? I'll be happy to join a group developing a self-assessment for schools, but it is important that the framework is owned by the people who use it.

Greetings Geoff,

Thank you very much for you contribution already. I agree with your preference in wording some of the practices differently. I used the original wording of the groups. We will compile and share with you the self-assessment framework developed by the teachers. To answer one of your concerns, we had the teachers together with six pupils, as representatives, making a total of 36 parcitipants. There were three mixed groups of teachers and pupils. It was really interesting.

The same school, Apex International, has promised to host another School Competence session next academic year. They found the School Competence as very useful. I will share the report and tool with you once the report is completed.

Sirinate is interested in working on this also. Four of us are now interested in developing the School Competence so far. We need to plan to work on this in preparation for the enormous competence needs of our schools in this day and age.

Once more, thank you and very much looking forward to learning and developing the School Competence further.
Dear Joseph,
Thank you for extending the competence process to schools in this fashion.

It sounds to be a great pilot and seems be very promising.

Looking forward to hearing and learning more from the pilot.

My best regards

I am happy to hear such a wonderful info. aboutthis great man God has blessed me with.
Thank you may God blesses you.
Moses Bull.

Dear Joseph and Sirinate,


I had missed this rich discussion. I am very interested to learn about school competence. Were you able to accompany the facilitation teams in schools? What has been the progress?


Neil Samuels has applied appreciative inquiry with schools. You can google and read the document which is about Heathside school.




Warm regards,



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