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The critical role of local values in Edulution’s learning model

In this blog we look at published research articles on the importance of values when it comes to effective learning and then describe how the Edulution values are practically applied to these critical concepts with its learning solution.



Research Articles


While all children theoretically have equal access to public educational opportunities, legacies of inequality entrenched during the colonial regime in Zambia and the apartheid system in South Africa have impacted the socioeconomic positionalities of communities today (Broken Chalk, 2020; Amnesty International, 2020).


Young people require an integrated educational curriculum that aligns modern methods with a localised understanding of community needs - one that identifies its colonial past and works towards fairer outcomes (Namanda, 2021). One such approach cites a ‘cultural renaissance’ as a way to embrace and empower African cultural heritage and people. Confidence in cultural histories, stories and traditions builds a similar confidence in those looking towards the future (Namanda, 2021).


Edulution’s Solution


Edulution places confidence building as one of our highest priorities. We want our Learners to feel empowered; we can testify to the research that has proven that confidence connects closely with academic performance. Our Coaches organise regular energisers and check-ins with Learners throughout the sessions to build self-esteem and keep the children engaged with their tasks. Furthermore, Learners are taught our organisational values, for example: I am unstoppable, we are unstoppable’, and are encouraged to repeat and affirm this.


As far as possible, our Coaches are recruited from the communities they serve in. Not only does this provide opportunities to young people previously unemployed, but it means that Edulution embeds further into these communities, building trust in children and their guardians. Coaches are therefore able to use their nuanced knowledge of the area, circumstances, community dynamics and their personal connections to provide necessary and engaging material, and positively impact their home.


Edulution respects and integrates within the existing education faculty and institutions we work in. Efforts are always made to align our sessions with the school curriculum and support the exam revision periods. This is why 98% of principals at the schools we operate in would recommend Edulution to other schools. As part of our advocacy efforts with the community, we regularly check in with these principals, teachers and parents to ensure that we are delivering on our mission and upholding the Edulution values.


Similarly, we respect the cultural practices of the communities we serve. For example, our three schools in Mayukwayukwa Refugee Settlement serve Angolans, Congolese and Rwandan refugees in North Western Zambia, and we operate in both English and native languages to reach as many children as possible. All of our Coaches are themselves refugees, and therefore understand the complexities of working with children from displaced and persecutory backgrounds.


Children learn best when they feel safe and supported in a fun, secure environment. School, when implemented well, can provide a much-needed safe space for children to grow and learn. Our Coaches all undergo Child Protection training, and are well-versed in measures to protect Learners.


Edultution’s organisational values prioritise accountability, respect and self-leadership. We are committed to serving the most vulnerable and addressing the damaging legacies of colonial regimes, working towards equal opportunities and outcomes and building confidence in a brighter future.




Bibliography:


Amnesty International (2020) ‘South Africa: Broken and unequal education perpetuating poverty and inequality’, Amnesty International, 11 February. Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/02/south-africa-broken-and-unequal-education-perpetuating-poverty-and-inequality/



Namanda, Z. (2021) 'A new Africa for the youth: Beyond the colonial thought', ECDPM, 22 March. Available at: https://ecdpm.org/work/a-call-for-change-from-young-people-in-africa-and-europe-volume-10-issue-1-2021/a-new-africa-for-the-youth-beyond-the-colonial-thought


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