Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.
The EXCEL Education Program provides senior secondary school students and teachers with supplementary education activities, programs and support services. Our goal is achieved through our program model, which develops three key areas: Academic Innovations, Leadership and Community Development and College and Career Programs, alongside a normal academic schedule.
What makes your idea unique?
There are many places that offer “lessons” on academic subjects through rote learning and chalk and talk. At EXCEL we arm students with the Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge and Understanding it takes to build a sustainable future. The EXCEL Education promotes learning through, critical thinking, rigor, life skills, leadership, and community development. Students develop skills by engaging in reading, collaborative groups, inquiry, writing and technology. Our goal of education, excellence, community, empowerment and enrichment (EXCEL) is achieved through teaching young people how to take an active role in developing their futures.
EXCEL seeks to transform education in Sierra Leone by developing and supporting future generations of leaders that will enter institutions of higher education, become entrepreneurs, managers, and or executives, hence contributing to the growth and development of Sierra Leone.
We realize that change must happen both inside and outside of the classroom.
What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)
At risk youth
, Education reform
, Girls' development
, Youth development
, Youth leadership
, Community development
What impact have you had?
EXCEL has offered services to 300 secondary school students in the year and a half of operation in Sierra Leone. EXCEL beneficiaries have moved on to be accepted to African Leadership Academy in South Africa and enter universities in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Russia. EXCEL participants have set a positive presence in the community through community service activities, public speaking engagements and radio talk shows. EXCEL has turned under motivated students with potential, into true ambassadors of education and motivated global citizens.
Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.
Sierra Leone, West Africa is recovering from an 11-year civil war, with 2009 marking the seventh anniversary of the end of hostilities. According to the UN Human Development Index 2007, Sierra Leone ranked 177 out of 177 countries, making it the most undeveloped country in the world. Specific to education, Sierra Leone has a low enrollment rate in secondary and post-secondary education, 65% national illiteracy rate, and in 2008 the lowest exams national exam scores. The influx in the demand of education has caused an alarming amount of untrained, unskilled and unqualified teachers.
The goal of the EXCEL Program is to provide students and teachers with the Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge and Understanding, necessary for creating a foundation for a thriving college going culture and citizens that will help build the nation.
Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.
• Providing alternatives to rote learning by offering modern and innovative programming (student-centered, inquiry based) through supplemental education services that addresses the country’s educational inequities, while also developing the youth to contribute to the reconstruction and growth of the country.
• Raising awareness about college going culture through newspaper articles, radio programs and public speaking engagements.
• Building computer literacy by engaging participants through the EXCEL website and online network.
• Conducting EXCEL Outreach programs at schools all over the country.
• Providing participants with a safe, progressive, positive learning environment, away from the streets and negative behavior. Furnishing scholarships and keeping the costs lows so services can be accessible for all students.
• Providing teachers with training on relevant and up to date teaching methods
• Creating relationships/partnerships with necessary stakeholders in education.