As we enter the festive season we’re coming to the end of another eventful year.
The efficacy of the RTR programme, as an accelerated English language learning tool, has been proved beyond doubt since its inception as a pilot in Ahkom school back in 2015/16. This is evidenced by the fact that the junior secondary school class of that year, now just sat to their BECE, have achieved a 99% pass rate in Language Arts in the 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) – for the first time. BECE pass qualifies a pupil to progress onto senior secondary level one. The 1% failure actually stems from the standard practice by the West African Examination Council of awarding to a school an automatic failure grade for any pupil whose name was forwarded but failed to sit to the exam. Irrespective of cause.
This academic year witnessed the expansion of RTR to UMC girls secondary school. Thanks to receipt of much needed funds from the Casey Trust.There were a few initial hiccups but the programme is now back on track.
A number of other schools have been clamouring for RTR but financial contsraints have posed a significant barrier to expansion. This mainly in respect of acquisition of necessary equipment like computers, tv/projector, generator and the like. A reality that led to consideration of alternative strategies, such as first expanding into schools already in possession of their own equipment. SLMB school in Kono and Elbethal in Freetown are earmarked for this option. Others who heard the RTR publicity are gearing up for 2019.
Active consideration was also given by LSL to the possibility of taking RTR to the wider Sierra Leone public and to neighbouring countries, on a fee paying basis. These considerations were taken on board by the in-country Africa team. 2019 will see progression in the first case with paid for evening classes commencing at Ahkom school. In the second case the Director is just back from a very successful trip in neighbouring Guinea, a former French colony, where the thirst for English language learning is at fever pitch. RTR has teamed up with A+ English Language tuition and a Guinean school to realize this initiative early 2019. But necessary steps such as staff recruitment, purchase of equipment, assembling learning materials (the LSL team has held positive discussions with English Helper in this regard) must happen sooner than later. Which is why the Africa team has formally requested assistance from LSL to secure a small start up loan that will can be repaid from fees collected.
RTR is on a positive up- swing and there should be no turning back. As seen in the case of Ahkom school where RTR classes have helped to secure what may justifiably be viewed its first 100% pass rate in BECE English language, RTR is set to do more on this continent in the widespread promotion of English language.
It is in this vein we appeal to prospective donors to assist the small but hardworking Love Sierra Leone team which pioneered this wonderful initiative, supported all the way by the online English language service provider – English Helper.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy new year.
Komba David Sandi