The Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic & Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered a four (4) day training to 84 senior education stakeholders on the use of the – MBSSE Learning Passport (MBSSE-LP). The training took place across four districts; Port Loko, Makeni, Bo and Kenema from the 26th – 30th of August 2022.
(DSTI’s LP Project Lead, Bani Forster Gives LP Overview Before Live Demo)
This training of education stakeholders promises to enhance examination preparedness amongst school children and improve general learning outcomes nationwide. This is one of those rare occasions where the promise of practical solutions is being shared with those who need it most.
(Training Participants With Staff From UNICEF, DSTI & MBSSE In Port Loko)
From the very start, the training which featured presentations on varied use cases and practical breakout sessions on the use of the platform held the promise of exploring a new frontier in digital education and dispel myths about leveraging tech for public education in Sierra Leone.
(Janice Williams, UNICEF’s LP Coordinator, Aiding Participants With The Mobile LP During Breakout Session In Port Loko)
The Learning Passport (LP) is a UNICEF and Microsoft-supported digital education platform that provides online, offline and mobile access to educational resources via technology devices. Learning Passport (LP) forms part of UNICEF’s ReImagine Education agenda under the flagship program Generation Unlimited.
(UNICEF’s Innovation Officer, Janice Williams, Making The Opening Statement In Port Loko)
“Projects that advance digital learning like the Learning Passport, Digital Learning Hubs (DLH) and Giga provide the unique opportunity for Sierra Leone to adopt a dynamic, fluid and progressive approach towards innovation and digitization’’. – Janice Kaday Williams, Innovation Officer, UNICEF.
In line with the Government’s Free Quality School Education (FQSE) Programme, the MBSSE LP looks to make learning opportunities accessible, equitable and available on a large scale. The platform was launched in February 2022 and has recorded a consistent increase in its use with over 10,000 registered users.
(Training Participants With Staff From UNICEF’s, DSTI & MBSSE In Bo District)
‘‘Building sustainable solutions to address critical skills deficits and prepare young people for a fast-paced digital future remains one of our compelling priorities at DSTI. The MBSSE-Learning Passport seeks to equip learners with digitized learning materials, past questions and most importantly mock exams with automated results.’’ – Jasper Sembie, Head of Operations & Finance, DSTI.
The training brought together personnel from the Teaching Service commission (TSC) and senior education staff from the respective districts for extended discussions on how this platform can be integrated into the learning process and used by school children for improved performance in public examinations. This will particularly provide access to quality learning resources for children in less privileged communities and help parents save money previously used to purchase past exam questions.
(Training Participant From TSC in Makeni Making A Contribution)
Speaking on the outcome of the trainings, Regional Coordinator (North) FSQE, Mr. Allieu Dausy Wurie and Director of Curriculum & Research MBSSE, Mr. Osman Kamara jointly emphasised that the training ‘is testament to the shared will and unsullied commitment between government and its development partners to increase access to quality learning opportunities in Sierra Leone. We will ensure that the knowledge acquired from this training trickles down into communities’’.
(Director of Curriculum & Research at MBSSE, Mr. Osman Kamara, Outlining The Goals of The Training in Port Loko)
When asked “What’s Next ?”, LP & DLH Project Coordinator at DSTI, Bani Forster, confirmed that the wider team is currently holding consultations on the possibility of upscaling the training to include teachers and cover more provincial areas for targeted impact.
He further explained that three (3) new learning hubs are set to be opened and these centres will provide users with access to the internet and computers where the LP can be used with ease and convenience.
“Learning Passport has the latent potential to redefine existing notions about the role of tech in accelerating learning outcomes. Our goal is to provide every child with choice, opportunities and quality education. These training sessions revealed so much excitement, positive energy and avenues for development; digital learning in Sierra Leone can only get better from here onward.” – Bani Forster, LP Project Lead, DSTI.