Remarkable positive changes
My name is Damien Sebaganwa Mberabagabo, and I am the director of the Gisenyi’s Science School. Since 2003, my school participates in the VVOB School Management programme. After a test, and thanks to the fact that I was found qualified without having any experience in the pursuance of this function, I was recruited to become the director of my school. That is why my performances were purely experimental before I met VVOB. Afterwards, the positive changes were remarkable.
Before, my school was administered under ‘commanding’ management. Finances were managed individually. Today, the school’s management is divided and clear. The expenses are defined by the strategic plan and the annual budget. These are formulated by the stakeholders of the school, among whom are representatives of teachers, parents and students.
Previously,I visited the classes to catch the teachers on irregularities. Today, I visit them to give advice, sometimes in team, in order to mutualise the competences. Before I also made little of the motivation of the teachers. Nowadays, teachers who have worked well are rewarded after the analysis of the school results at the end of the year. The students who have the best results and who are the most implicated socially are also rewarded.
Before the VVOB School Management programme, I depended on the Ministry of Education for everything. I thought that, as a public school, projects to develop the school needed to be designed and executed by the Ministry. Today, I create these projects myself and I look for sponsors. I also sensitise parents to finance certain school projects, because even though the school is public, it is in the benefit of both the parents and their children.
Before I was trained by VVOB, it was difficult for me to make an adequate follow-up of what happens at school. Now that every department elaborates an action plan, it is easy for me to supervise and to give advice, in order to have a progressive improvement. Every Monday, I organise an administrative staff meeting to evaluate the work of the previous week and to plan the activities of the week to come. At the end of the school year, we evaluate ourselves to determine measures that will improve our performances in the coming year.
In short, give credit where credit is due! VVOB School Management has changed many things in my school. That is the reason why other schools in the district make a study trip to our school to see the changes for themselves and learn from my experiences. I will always respect the directives and I am sure my school will always progress.