I have spent ten days working visiting schools which are under the Healthy Learning programme.
Our main aim was to assess the extent of the success of the programme
Development and education go hand in hand, and I have been able to experience this as I visit each school. Where the parents have had basic education, they are better placed to make better development decisions for their households, the school, and the larger community where they live.
Unlike, where the community has had no education at all and only relies on their traditional knowledge, there is a major hindrance to development that aims at the present and future. I am a strong believer in the power of traditional knowledge and some cultural practices to support development. But I have also come to realize that this can only happen if it’s well integrated in new knowledge on development in this 21st century which acknowledges the sustainability principles and as well takes into considerations the finite nature of natural resources.
On the other hand, I have been learning much about the community understanding of development aid, food aid, education aid, and what free really means to them. Development aid, if it does not instill a spirit of independence in the target group, then it’s just aid. Development aid that equips the target group with a capacity and allows their minds to think outside the aid, and identify opportunities that can complement, and or even replace development aid in their lives is what I would ideally call development aid. I have seen the impact of this in different settings; where communities have been fled and are willing to try out and advance their livelihoods without relying entirely on the development aid, the community full understands that aid is just aid, and not a solution to their challenges.
All the same, I am glad to report that I did visit most schools surrounded by a community that understands the role of development aid, and have not become independent on it; they have become an innovative community which now feels more liberated to develop their own initiatives to support their schools their households and even become responsible citizens. This has been the impact of the Healthy Learning Programme
I do think I will be defining the responsible citizen I have been observing in the past two years working with different groups of people, right from the grassroots to the international circles.
I would therefore say i am a strong supporter of development aid that is directed and efficiently utilized in Education.