29 Nov Leveraging Mentorship for Better Educational Outcomes in Africa
Proper education is the basis of what shapes our career paths. This can make or break who we become professionally.
It is not about books and taking tests but everything that shapes an individual – mentally, psychologically and even spiritually.
From a young age, you are expected to have interests in different fields and as you get older, these interests become narrower and your actual career path becomes clearer.
With the nature of African education, it is not always easy for the youth to have a clear career path. There are limited options because of the poor quality of education.
This results in most of our youths ending up in jobs they do not have any passion or interest in. They are only there because it is a means to an end, a source of income.
Leveraging Mentorship for Better Educational Outcomes in Africa
Quality education spans the learning structure; this extends to the kind of teachers and content available in that setting.
To achieve a dependable and qualitative education system, there is a need for both the teachers and students to be consistently mentored.
The profession of teaching requires a lot of mental, emotional and educational training.
It is crucial to make sure the teacher is in the right position and frame of mind to give these students the best education possible.
Assigning experienced teachers to guide and support novice teachers provide valuable professional development for both new and veteran teachers.
Charlotte Danielson (1999) found that mentoring helps novice teachers face their new challenges; through reflective activities and professional conversations, they improve their teaching practices as they assume full responsibility for a class.
Danielson also concluded that mentoring fosters the professional development of both new teachers and their mentors.
When a teacher is well mentored, it reduces the risks of committing professional blunders and mistakes. A well-designed mentoring programme will instill confidence and boost the morale of the teachers, thus, they become a right source of information for the students.
Kathleen Boyer (1999) found that among new special education teachers who continued to teach for a second year, 20 percent noted that they stayed because of the mentoring support that they had received.
When a teachers receives mentorship, they are inspired to do more and become enthusiastic to help others become, improve themselves, receive respect, develop collegiality, and profit from fresh ideas and energy.
As Christine Hegstad (1999) indicates, the benefits of mentoring are both career-related and psychosocial.
Student mentorship is crucial to not only the development of the child, the school but also to the nation.
Mentoring students improves the mental, academic, and emotional capacities of the involved students. They become confident enough to talk about anything affecting them.
Students who are mentored come out 89% better than those who aren’t- Jeremy Daniels (2001).
Yes, there are counselors employed to always talk to students in many schools but a lot of them aren’t mentors.
A mentor is a person who is already what you want to be while a counselor might be someone whose career is to provide basic mental and emotional support but what a mentor is more than that.
Not only emotional and mental support but, career and professional support too. A mentor will share his own experience with you to guide you through the path you aspire to take.
Having a counselor is good but to ensure students reach the point where they are sure of what they want to be, it is important to include mentorship in the school curricular activities.
If many schools factor in mentoring programmes into their school curriculum, the African educational system will improve greatly.
This and many more campaigns are expected to be supported because it may be one of the paths to make the African education system compete effectively well with counterparts abroad.