Highlights from the 2017 PSIPSE Convening
It is not every day that the people behind a portal get the opportunity to talk face-to-face with their public. Last week, the IIEP Learning Portal team was fortunate to attend the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) Global Convening in Kampala, Uganda, and interact with more than 120 representatives from education NGO’s and policy-makers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
Why are we here
Whilst progress has been made in access to primary education, many children are not able to transition to secondary education and receive a quality education. The PSIPSE Grantees are all striving to scale-up their activities to advance secondary education opportunities in their respective countries. PSIPSE partners reminded us all why we were there – “a common commitment to pushing the secondary education agenda” and to put forward “affordable quality and inclusive education options for government”.
Catching up with old partners and connecting with new ones
With over 60 innovative projects focusing on increasing access to quality secondary education, particularly for marginalized populations, present at the event, we had firsthand experience of their success, challenges and needs. We also saw how the Learning Portal could support their information needs and help increase the visibility of their projects.
Through plenaries, brainstorming sessions, workshops, and peer learning discussions, we learnt about the successes and challenges of a diverse collection of initiatives from teacher support in rural schools in Zanzibar (Sazani Associates), providing safe spaces for girls to learn in Nigeria (Centre for Girls’ Education), learning outcomes and leadership in informal settlements in Kenya (African Population and Health Research Centre), and school leadership in India (India School Leadership Institute). Our one regret is that we did not have the opportunity to talk to all the grantees that were present.
A learning experience
Some highlights from the event:
Some interesting experiences on the use of data and citizen-led assessments from Pratham Education Foundation through a workshop focusing on data driven decision-making and informal discussions with TEP Centre that we hope to be able to share through the Learning Portal.
The dialogues between the NGOs and their national education policy-makers that highlighted both difficulties of working together but also some real success stories from STIR Education in India, Development Research and Projects Center in Nigeria and Education Development Center, Inc. in Rwanda.
Our session on the Learning Portal provided us with firsthand feedback on what information grantees and policy–makers need and where there are currently gaps in the Portal. We are also pleased to be able to contribute our resources and expertise to The Community of Practice on Education Systems Change, which developed at the end of the convening.
Internet access can still be an issue, underlining the need for any online provision of information and resources to be clear, simple, and quick to navigate. Our new website to be launched later in the year aims to be just that.
We would like to thank PSIPSE for the invitation to the Convening and the invigorating three-day learning experience and look forward to continuing our support to its work.