In todays Africa ravaged by armed conflict, AIDS and poverty values education will become a most powerful weapon to help people to regain their pride, dignity and the art of living together, stressed Mr A Parsuramen, Director of UNESCO-BREDA (Regional Office for Education in Africa), during a Regional Workshop in Values-based Education held in Dakar, Senegal, in April 2004. Jointly organized by Living Values Education (LVE) and UNESCO, the workshop focused on educators of street children and specialists in early childhood development and built on a previous teacher-training seminar held in Dakar in 2003. Participants were invited from 8 other countries in West and Central Africa, and in response to their commitment and enthusiasm, a programme of action to train teachers in values-based education is now being developed in the following countries:
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo.
The programme is a collaborative partnership between the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE) and UNESCO-BREDA. It is being implemented by the Swiss Association for Living Values (SALV) / lAssociation Suisse Vivre ses Valeurs (ASVV). Since 2005, LVE basic workshops for educators have been held in Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, and in Togo; train-the-trainer workshops in Burundi and in Ghana; and capacity-building workshops in Senegal and Ghana. Exploratory visits have also been carried out in Burkina Faso, Guinea (Conakry), Mali and Mauritania and it is hoped that training workshops will take place soon.
Photo of the Swiss Association welcoming Rokhaya Diawara (UNESCO-Dakar)
The programme has been possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, ACCENTUS Charitable Foundation, Fond Mécénat, SIG (Services Industriels de Genève), and the Karl Popper Foundation in Switzerland; as well as the West African Cement Company in Togo, and a number of private donors. SALV also wishes to acknowledge the tremendous cooperation from a number of organisations such as the National Commissions for UNESCO, local NGOs and individuals on the field, as well as members of SALV and other LVE associations, who have volunteered their time and expertise not only in the training, development of materials, and provision of facilities; but also in administration, accounting, and reporting. Added to this are a number of supportive friends of SALV who constantly encourage our work, and give advice where needed, for which we are very grateful.
The beneficiaries of the programme are children of all backgrounds, school teachers, street children educators, specialists in early childhood education, curriculum developers and school inspectors. Other beneficiaries include young adults, parents and members of the local community as a whole.
The training programme provides educators with methods and skills to create values-based learning environments in which children feel respected, valued, understood, loved and safe. It also aims to help teachers develop increased awareness of their own personal and social values, and to encourage them to live our values as role models. It introduces them to Living Values Education resource materials that support classroom educators in ensuring that values play a central role in all areas of the curriculum, in school-life and in the overall development of young learners. Values-based education not only contributes to the content of the school curriculum, but it also applies to all subjects and all age groups. The approach and methodology of LVE also helps educators in dealing with many issues for example, the environment, health, and AIDS.
Educators who implement LVE encourage children to explore, experience and express inherent positive qualities, to think critically about values and to make positive personal and social choices in relation to life issues. LVE does not seek to impose values, but draws on and revitalises the rich heritage of positive values that exist within every individual and in local culture. Educators are recommended to adapt LVE resource materials and activities to ensure relevance to different contexts, cultures and environments.
Collaborating with the Swiss Association for Living Values, UNESCO-BREDA is well-placed to assist with expert educational advice and strategic guidance, and with local technical and logistical support and evaluation.
Based on an assessment of the early training workshops in Senegal, Burundi and Rwanda, the programme of action for each country comprises the following steps:
1. Exploratory visit
One or two LVE experts visits the country. The objectives of the visit are:
- to assess needs, identify local partners, develop sustaining relationships and initiate the creation of a local organizing committee
- to meet with key people in the community in the areas of education, politics, culture and religion to exchange views and experiences regarding education and values, with particular reference to the local culture.
- to develop a greater awareness of local circumstances and conditions, in order to adapt educational activities and materials to meet current needs.
Report: Exploratory visits 2004-2005 (PDF)
Report: Exploratory visits 2007 (PDF)
2. Living Values Education (LVE) workshop for educators (3 or 4 days)
Experienced LVE trainers facilitate the workshop, and UNESCO or the National Commission for UNESCO in certain countries, is invited to help provide facilities and technical support. Up to 50 participants are invited, in some cases through recommendations of UNESCO and UNICEF, and the local organizing committee, and in some cases the Ministry of Education and other ministries. They include school teachers, street children educators, early childhood educators, curriculum developers and school inspectors. A separate training workshop can be arranged for pilot schools. LVE trainers are volunteers giving their expertise and time free of charge. They are normally reimbursed for expenses e.g. travel and accommodation.
3. Piloting phase
Educators implement LVE in their workplace, in the community in liaison with the local organizing committee and with the guidance and support of SALV and ALIVE. .
4. Train-the-trainer and specialised training workshops (7 days)
Those who have successfully implemented LVE for at least 3 months, and who clearly demonstrate training skills and qualities may be invited to participate in a train-the-trainer workshop. Workshops may also be held on areas of need e.g. children in difficult situations, and early childhood education. As the level of activity grows, the local committee may consider setting up a national association to co-ordinate and support LVE activities in their country.
5. Follow-up support
Experienced LVE trainers are available to provide extra training, offer advice and guidance, recommend materials, and support educators in their ongoing teaching. .
LVE materials are made available to supplement those already freely available for downloading from the LVE website. Many of these materials have already been translated from English into French. Translation of materials into local languages is encouraged and supported by ALIVE and UNESCO. Videos/DVDs and other educational tools are being developed.
The programme is primarily be implemented by the Swiss Association for Living Values with the support of ALIVE, and in collaboration with UNESCO-BREDA and local organisations. While ALIVE undertakes to seek financial support from donors / foundations / individuals to assist the initial stages in a country, national associations are encouraged to become self-sufficient.
8. Further information