Education is the bedrock of socio-economic growth in Africa. Successive development policies have often led to major reforms and mobilized significant resources in order to make the education sector better. Certainly, considerable efforts have been continuously implemented by African governments since independence, but the picture is not glowing. For most Africans, education is restricted to that received in the family circle and to classical instruction in schools and other places of knowledge. It is still assimilated, as Nietzsche recalls in his Twilight of the Idols, to "a brutal training to make usable, exploitable in the service of the State, a legion of young people ...". The unfortunate result is the plethora of young Africans from a failing education system (or out of step with development aspirations) and which exposes them to growing unemployment and the inability to create businesses likely to breathe new life into the community. socio-economic development of the continent. This feeds all the crises (social, political, economic, environmental, migratory, etc.) which debase our countries and intensify poverty. The African child is maintained in a model of training which intends him to the "public service". This unconscious instrumentalization of their subconscious can easily be read in the question asked and which has become traditional: what is your envisaged career?
While it is true that man is shaped by education (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile or education), the collective conscience and the powers of the continent must resolutely opt for an education oriented towards taking responsibility for the young by himself and the creation of development poles supported by entrepreneurial initiatives. It is therefore opportune and more than urgent that schoolchildren, pupils, students, apprentices, etc., are henceforth re-educated in leadership and entrepreneurship in their fields of activity or specialization. African learners will need to be educated in a system that educates them about their own development and motivates them to seize the many opportunities offered by the multiple potentialities of the continent. Based on these reflections and mindful of the many challenges facing African youth, we decided to initiate a training and education campaign in leadership and entrepreneurship in vocational training centers, schools, high schools, universities in Benin. . It is in this context that we organized on April 6, 2019, a major act of this campaign through the Awakening to School Leadership Day, which brought together around fifty students, student leaders and teachers from the Mono department.
Objective of the project
The medium-term goal of this project, we hope, is to contribute to the awakening of African elites to the effective introduction of the teaching of leadership, entrepreneurship and personal development in training programs in all places of knowledge and at all levels. Said reform will undoubtedly have the effect of the progressive intrinsic transformation of African youth and the building of a new type of African capable of realizing through work the development aspirations of Africa in the concert of nations.
Specifically, at the end of this event, participating learners will, among other things, be able to:
- Understand the concepts of leadership and entrepreneurship and identify the outlines accessible to their level;
- Change unseemly habits and take appropriate resolutions for their personal development;
- know the issues and challenges related to the world of employment and the implications for certain success.
Implementation of the activity
The first edition of the School Leadership Awakening Day took place on Saturday April 06, 2019 at Link Hotel in Lokossa. Various authorities were invited to the opening ceremony of JELS 2019. These include, among others, the Departmental Director of Tourism, Culture and Sport of Mono, Mr. Iquel Anani; the President of PFODEL-Benin, Mr. Deha Zohoun; and Mr. Monyevedo Boya, Director of CEG Doutou and representing heads of establishments.
The first act of the day was the personal development conference hosted by Mr. Alex Balogun, Leadership Coach and CEO VIP WORLD. In his presentation on true leadership, he reiterated the importance of vision in the life of every human being. Based on his own experiences and the backgrounds of many contemporary leaders, the speaker awakened the participants' attention to the values that define excellent leadership: good vision, rigor in work, constancy in effort, confidence in itself, etc. This inaugural conference helped to deconstruct the myths and misconceptions conveyed by society about the concept of leadership. Thanks to the presentation by coach Alex Balogun, the participants were trained to take advantage of the various activities and conferences of the day. We all have leadership within us and have a duty to reveal it for the happiness of our communities.
Focusing on the importance of action for a leader, the second conference was moderated by the young entrepreneur Roland Alavo, CEO RAB TECH. Computer enthusiast and software engineering specialist, the communicator exposed his entire journey as a learner and entrepreneur. He described in particular his vision, the challenges that marked its implementation and his thirst to propose solutions to various problems encountered in our societies. For this designer of numerous applications having won high distinctions, the greatest duty of a leader is to act for the good of his community, whatever the ups and downs that arise.
These challenges should strengthen the self-confidence of the young and require that he focus on his goals in order to achieve meaningful results. Mr. Roland Alavo's experience has inspired more than one to believe that entrepreneurial leadership has no age. The most important not being financial power, young people have to do with their own context to polish their talent and reveal their creativity. The open discussion that followed finally clarified the questions of the participants who were very satisfied with this second communication.
After the lunch break observed for participants and speakers, the main panel of the day was installed. Moderated by Mr. Géoffroy Avenon, CMO Youth for Challenge, the panel was made up of Mr. Lino Tokpo, Entrepreneur / CEO GenieUp Group, Ms. Errose Assagba, Entrepreneur / DG Ets MDR, Mr. Abdel Aziz Assani, Business manager / CEO BTECH SPACE and Mr. Enock Wolo, Consultant at the Guichet d'Economie Locale Sud Bénin. The discussions focused on the main theme of JELS 2019: "What strategies to awaken collective consciousness on the urgency of education for leadership and entrepreneurship in schools?" ".
For two clock hours, the panelists presented their thoughts on the contours of the theme. Thus, they appreciated the feasibility of teaching leadership and entrepreneurship in places of knowledge. To this end, it is urgent that one-off but regular activities be carried out by the competent structures (organization, start-up, consulting firm, state services, etc.) with learners in order to strengthen their knowledge and capacities relating to leadership and entrepreneurship.
While waiting for the pleas made by many organizations, including Youth for Challenge, for the education system to change in this direction, all local development actors must contribute to awakening the consciousness of young learners. To do this, the panelists also shared their personal experiences in order to bring the learners to understand their journeys as combatants in the entrepreneurial world and to draw major lessons. First, all learners should be enterprising at home and at school. This assumes that they attach importance to their training and various jobs with selflessness and passion.
Deusio, educators must adopt an entrepreneurial pedagogy facilitating the understanding of learners in a practical and entrepreneurial aim. Such an entrepreneurial pedagogy has the advantage of inspiring learners to better use their knowledge to create added value in their own context.
Third, failure and difficulties are an integral part of the process. Do not hesitate to try again after each fall and to highlight its full potential. Finally, young girls must define their vision very early on and work consistently for their own development in our societies where many barriers weaken female leadership.
At the end of the panel, the last stage of the day was devoted to the delivery of certificates of participation to pupils, students and teachers who have carefully followed all the communications of JELS 2019, the first initiative of this kind in the Mono.
Funding and partner
Many partners have provided us with mainly technical assistance. These are the MDR Enterprise, GénieUp Group, Btech Space, Rab Tech, VIP WORLD, and GEL Sud Bénin. The entire budget for the activity, amounting to 212,200 FCFA, was covered by our organization, which was able to count on its network of members and supporters.
Results obtained and quantified impact
The primary schools, high schools, colleges and university entities below have effectively sent their young delegates and / or representatives: Catholic Primary School La Fouquette d'Athieme, CEG 1 Doutou, CEG 1 Lokossa, CEG Athieme, Cours Privé la Réussite, CEG Oudeme-Adja, LTPIT Lokossa, LJF Lokossa, CEG 1 Agamè, CEG 3 Lokossa, ENSET Lokossa and INSTI Lokossa.
The fifty or so participants, mainly schoolchildren, pupils, students, primary and secondary school teachers, administrative staff from high schools and colleges, each acquired important notions on the construction of real leadership through the experimentation of its values, the realities of entrepreneurship via the courses of the speakers, the strategies for implementing entrepreneurial pedagogy in places of knowledge, etc.
Difficulties encountered and solution approaches
Mobilizing the financial resources necessary for the proper organization of this activity was our greatest difficulty. All the potential partners we met were unable to materialize their desire to support us. The climax was the decision of the hotel on the eve of the activity to invoice us for the room to house the conferences although the negotiations retained the free availability of said room as part of a partnership with this hotel. We had to demonstrate strong adaptability skills to manage such situations and succeed in our business.