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Transformative Education

Jan 18, 2019

Recently I was asked to write an article about the state of global education. As part of my research, I came across a 2017 report by World Bank that warned of “a learning crisis” in global education. The report said there are 260 million children who are not enrolled in any form of school, while those in the world’s poorest countries are receiving an inadequate education that is only widening the gap between those who are prepared for today’s demands and those that still lack basic life skills. The report also spoke of some of the primary reasons for this “learning crisis.” As I read through the report, I realized that the words of the global educators that had met with me in Rwanda in November had said almost the exact same thing. The three main issues they experience are unprepared students, unmotivated teachers, and unqualified administrators.

The students are unprepared to learn because of a variety of situations. For some it is a lack of adequate food, housing, clothing, etc. For others there is a lack of funds to provide for education. For others, the children are needed to help earn money for the family, so they cannot go to school. At ICSV we are blessed to have your children come to school each day. You love them and encourage them; you provide for their physical needs; and you willingly partner with us to provide them with a high-quality education. ICSV students are prepared to learn.

In many countries, it is difficult to find qualified, passionate teachers. It is not uncommon for teachers to take their paychecks and then never return to the classroom. Many have only received a minimal level of education, so they are not prepared for the challenges of teaching. Some are given classes of up to 80 students. At ICSV, we are blessed to have such an amazing group of highly-trained and motivated teachers. We are privileged to have teachers in our classrooms that could have their pick of schools in which to work, but they have chosen ICSV. They love the students and are passionate about their subjects. At ICSV we have motivated teachers.

The administrators at the conference I attended in Kigali were there because they understand the influence that their leadership has on their schools and the students. Some had been asked to lead schools without having an educational background. Others expressed the need for additional support in fulfilling their responsibilities. If a school’s leadership is weak, then the school programming will suffer. At ICSV we are blessed to have such a strong administrative team. It is a pleasure to work with individuals for whom professional development is a priority. I have full confidence in the team’s integrity and expertise. At ICSV we have qualified administrators.

Nelson Mandela of South Africa is quoted as saying that “a good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special” (1995). At ICSV we understand the importance of excellence in education. We also know that in order to truly transform a student’s life, he or she must be taught in a caring environment by nurturing teachers who know how to meet the needs of every student. At ICSV we strive to meet not just the academic needs of the students, but to also develop within them a worldview that encourages service to others and living a life of integrity and respect.

Education for education’s sake is not the ultimate answer for today’s “learning crisis.” A school like ICSV where students are valued and empowered with truth and knowledge so that they can lead fruitful, productive lives is the type of environment that brings about transformation. At ICSV our desire is that every student will be transformed.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director

Mandela, N. (1995). Long Walk to Freedom. Boston: Back Bay Books. Little, Brown and Company.
World Bank. 2018. World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education’s Promise. Washington, DC: World Bank. doi:10.1596/978-1-4648-1096-1. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0 IGO