Consultative meeting with key Gasabo Districts Education stakeholders

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IMG_8489On December 2, 2015, Wellspring foundation organized, in partnership with the district of Gasabo, a consultative meeting involving key Gasabo Districts Education stakeholders from 15 Sectors of the District. The meeting brought together around 43 participants including Sector Education officers, Sectors Lead Head Teachers, Sectors Lead Parents Teachers Committees to discuss relevant strategies to sustain Wellspring Investment and Initiatives through its Community Involvement Program, a key component of Wellspring School Development Program in the district of Gasabo. The main purpose of this consultative meeting was to explore ways and strategies to sustain the collaborative work of Wellspring and its key Districts partners. This is in line with Wellspring’s catalytic role in helping the community develop homegrown and lasting solutions in their schools. The discussions emphasized the central role of Sectors’ Education Council Committees that include Sectors Executive Secretaries, Sectors Education Officers, Parents representatives, School Head Teachers, teachers’ representatives, Women representatives, and the representative of the persons with disabilities Council. The Sector Education Council mission is to provide advisory support to Sectors leaders on education matters that include inclusive basic education for all the children, Construction and maintenance of schools infrastructures, relevant placement of teachers in public and Government subsidized schools, school feeding programs, students’ dropouts, students’ performance, etc. Under the leadership of Executive Secretaries, Sector Education Officers (SEOs) oversee and follow up the implementation of the Government educational strategies at the Sector level. This role includes overseeing the development of Schools in their respective sectors in collaboration with Head Teachers and Parents through their Schools General Assemblies Committees. For a decade, Wellspring foundation has partnered with all these major stakeholders through various initiatives aimed at empowering and equipping them to better serve their communities. “The role of the Sector Education councils has not been clearly understood and as a consequence, Sectors failed to benefit from their valuable contributions and support. The discussions we are facilitating will help the different stakeholders involved to understand with clarity the opportunities they have to lead a positive change in their respective sectors as a team. We want SEOs, Head Teachers, Teachers and Parents to have a deeper understanding of their role and mission, to develop ownership of the work being done, and to proactively ensure its sustainability” said Vedaste Byombi, Wellspring’s Program Manager. Participants’ perspectives Cyldion Masengesho Cyldion is an emerging and passionate education leader who serves as the Jabana Sector Education Officer:
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Cyldion Masengesho, Jabana Sector Education Officer

It is really exciting to have a space where SEOs, Parents, Head teachers sit and discuss as a team so that they can have a clearer perspective on how to develop education in their sectors and districts. We discussed key points including information sharing and communication between different stakeholders, meeting preparations, and budget preparations. It was also an opportunity to have a better understanding of each stakeholder’s role in the sector in order to encourage teamwork and complementarity. We commend Wellspring for organizing and facilitating such events to ensure that the community is deeply engaged in the development of education”   Anastasie Mukamutara
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Anastasie Mukamutara, Headmistress at Gatsata Catholic Primary School

Anastasie is a well-spoken school leader with an intensive experience in the arena of school leadership for up to 15 years. She currently serves as the Headmistress of the Gatsata Catholic Primary School: “These sector education councils will bring deep and positive change in many ways. Some parents have given up their involvement in supporting the teachers in education. So these committees will help us reverse this pattern by reviving parents’ interest in the education of their children. They [Education Councils] will also offer the possibility to encourage teachers to fulfill their roles and duties accordingly. Most important, districts and sectors education leaders will access relevant and contextual advisory support from the community”   Francois Xavier Musuhuke
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Francois Xavier, Musuhuke

With a past experience of 12 years as a Primary and Secondary Teacher in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Burundi and in Rwanda, Francois is a respected elder in his community where he represents parents on the Education Council of his Sector in Gatsata: “Wellspring program has been very helpful. The training opportunities from Wellspring developed in many parents a strong desire to excel in their involvement in supporting education in the Community. Wellspring helped us understand the national education strategies and shared their expertise and experiences so that we can be equipped. More particularly, Wellspring invested a lot in ensuring that all the stakeholders (including sector officers, parents and school leaders) of the Community in Gasabo Districts work together as a team. This was achieved as a result of a series of trainings from Wellspring that impacted the parental involvement and improved our teachers’ performance. They made sure our teachers become more passionate and professional. As a result, our children performance increased considerably. I highly welcome the nature of the discussions that are taking place between different stakeholders to ensure that our structures are not dormant but that they are efficient and helpful to our community”. About the Wellspring Community Involvement Program | The Community Involvement Program is a key component of the Wellspring School Development Program (SDP). It seeks to raise parental awareness on their involvement in school management and development [Find out more]
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