Africa needs sustainable development-oriented leaders — Mrs Siaw-Agyepong
The Chief Executive Officer of American International School (AIS), Adelaide A. Siaw-Agyepong, has observed that Africa needs people who are sustainable development oriented to transform the continent.
She said the changing world needed people who were analytical in view and poised in thoughts to make an impact on the world.
Speaking on “Rising to Africa’s education challenges and opportunities post-COVID-19 pandemic” at the 2023 edition of the Africa Development Conference organised by the African Caucus of the Kennedy School of Law and Harvard African Law Association, Mrs Siaw-Agyepong said the changing world did not need people who had mere knowledge and could regurgitate principles because the Internet through multiple search engines could perform the same thing.
“We need persons who are aligned with sustainable development, responsible business conduct, and laced with humanity because knowledge that does not consider the survival of humanity and the generations to come are as treacherous as no knowledge,” she stressed.
She said “a holistic education is needed and one that uses knowledge to solve every day problems, recognising the survival of humanity as dependent on the survival of one and all and works towards improving our individual and collective lives”.
“The world needs people who are ready to learn, unlearn and relearn,” she stressed.
Mrs Siaw-Agyepong observed that during the pandemic, private schools in Ghana had to adapt and mobilise resources to aid teaching and learning.
She added that most private schools transitioned to online learning platforms to provide students with access to learning materials and resources from home.
“These platforms often included features such as video lectures, interactive quizzes, and virtual classroom discussions,” she added.
She also noted that private schools and educational companies provided students with learning materials such as textbooks, workbooks, and worksheets to enable them to continue learning at home.
“Some also provided technology devices such as laptops and tablets to students who did not have access to them,” she added.“During the period also, some private schools and educational companies provided training for their teachers to enable them to adapt to the new online learning environment.
This training often included how to use online teaching tools, how to conduct virtual classroom discussions, newsletters and how to provide feedback and assessments online to improve communication.
“Private schools and educational companies invested in technology to ensure that students had access to the necessary devices and internet connectivity.
This often included purchasing laptops, tablets, and other devices for students, and providing internet connectivity to those who did not have it,” she pointed out.
Answering a question on what changes AIS undertook to ensure that learning continued, she explained that when it was becoming clearer that a lockdown was imminent, AIS put in place a Covid-19 taskforce which brainstormed and discussed strategies to continue teaching and learning in case that happened.
“This reinforced what we believed already.
We believe students should take ownership of their learning.
Hence, we constantly offer professional development to our teachers to deliver enquiry-based, research-based models of education.
The combination of this and hybrid learning means we were ready to transition to an online classroom when needed,” she stated.