In October the consortium members CTF and EFSL from INCE Sierra Leone visited the Netherlands to work on their proposition at the Woord en Daad office. During their stay the team visited Driestar as well. Sjoerd van den Berg looks back at the visit, which ended with concrete steps for INCE Sierra Leone.

‘INCE members who visit Driestar Christian University have high expectations, because we are a Teacher Training Institute,’ explains Sjoerd van den Berg from INCE Office. ‘Therefore we create a special program for our visitors.’ The visit starts with a presentation of the Driestar international office by Lydia Bor. She explains the different courses students can follow at the university, varying from primary school teacher education or secondary school teacher education to pedagogics degrees. ‘We are a member of an international network of Teacher Training Institutes and we like to meet new people and discover how we can work together.’

The INCE guests also met one of the board members of Driestar, Robert Zoutendijk. This is an important part of the day, because the partnership is discussed on a more administrative level.

A tour through the building is a standard part of the visit. ‘Guests are often impressed by our media library,’ says Sjoerd. This library does not only contain books, but also themed boxes that students can use. These boxes contain lesson plans on different topics, such as water, deserts or historic figures. ‘This really inspires visitors with new ideas.’

Driestar has an educational advisory service too. This service has products on topics such as (school) leadership, parent involvement and teacher training for schools in the Netherlands. The presentation here was given by the new manager Dirk Verweij. These products and courses are objectives for INCE too, but need to be adapted to local contexts. That is what INCE Office does. ‘We ended the day with a meeting in which we discussed in detail which training programs could be useful and how these programs could fit in the Sierra Leonian context.’ As one of the visitors for Sierra Leone said: ‘We need to work together on a teacher training level.’