It has been more than one month since I joined Eli Africa and my journey till now has been so amazing and so enriching that I can say I did the right choice by joining ELI Africa as a volunteer. Being the responsible for the ELI Soccer Tournament 2013 seemed a daunting task at the beginning but as I got acquainted to my duties and responsibilities and with the invaluable support of my team and with the help of Cedric and Medha, I was able to discharge all my duties properly. Up till now, we have 12 teams registered which have expressed interest to play football for our ELI Soccer Tournament which will be held on the 23rd and 24th November 2013 at the Mauritius Football Association Trianon. We thank them heartily because they recognise that participation in our fundraising activity namely the ELI Soccer Tournament 2013 is for a laudable cause. All the proceeds will be used for our educational and environmental projects and we are proud to say that ELI Africa had opened its new office and teaching centre in Curepipe. Another teaching centre in Curepipe means that ELI Africa can help more pupils to pass their CPE exams and thus paving the way for a brighter future for children who might otherwise be the victims of our primary educational system.
As an NGO, I firmly believe that ELI Africa is performing a highly commendable endeavour through its educational projects. The motto of ELI Africa is “Think Different” and the approach of ELI Africa to education is indeed highly modern and innovative. The use of Experiential Learning to teach students at primary level challenges the traditional ways of teaching and aims at a more holistic approach to education. Countries around the world have too academically focused educational system in which a child’s intelligence and intellectual skills are only weighed through their academic performance in exams and IQ. Since I joined Eli Africa, I have been reading about Experiential Learning and I realized that the introduction of Experiential Learning in the curriculum and in the educational system can definitely enhance learning.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” ~ Stephen Hawking, an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.
Well let me share a brief definition of the concept of Experiential Learning:
“Experiential learning theory defines learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb 1984, p. 41). *
This innovative concept in education transcends the traditional definitions of teaching and learning which equates intelligence to only book knowledge and exams performance. The implementation of Experiential Learning in the curriculum helps teachers tap the potential of learners by preparing the teaching material according to the abilities and learning styles of students. As such, education research identifies 4 types of learners namely: Innovative learners, Analytic learners, Common sense learners and Dynamic learners.
At ELI Africa, students are taught their primary curriculum through experiential learning methods so as to maximize understanding of the subject matter and to engage students in the learning process in a more interactive and fun manner. Tailoring education to the needs and abilities of students is indeed one of the major challenges facing educational systems around the world because education can be viewed as an unequal system if it promotes only elitism and academic knowledge. A holistic approach to education is of vital importance in our contemporary world because we are faced with so many pressing global issues and in order to tackle them effectively, we need not to create geniuses but intelligent leaders who can use their knowledge and skills to find solutions to social and world problems.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” ~ John F. Kennedy