Date: 3rd March 2017

Education Board Report for July to December 2016

Reverting to the core education principles – that has been the motto of the Africa Federation Education Board for the first year of the new term (2016 – 2019). The Education Board has long been viewed as a ‘loans body’ responsible primarily for providing of Higher Education Loans and the repayments from students. Whilst this is a major aspect of the portfolio of the board there is much more to offer. In order to invigorate and rekindle its image and portfolio, the Education Board of the Africa Federation has prioritized other key areas to focus upon:

1.  Career Counseling

In today’s competitive environment it is essential for the students of our community to make well thought of and advised choices as far as their careers are concerned. This allows efficient use of resources (both community and personal) and better chances of success for the student. The Board is working on a strategy to strengthen the career counselling structures both at the board level and in collaboration with our community schools and other structures. There has also been an increased promotion of the Strong Interest Inventory Assessments that allow students to make informed choices based on their strengths and interests.

2.  Automation, Data Visibility and Analysis

Also in keeping up with the rapid technological growth the Education Board in collaboration with the Finance Team of Africa Federation has been working on an online portal that would streamline the process of loan applications and loans management together with allowing better visibility of data across the Africa Federation and Jamaat levels. Readily available data will open pathways to better analyses that can allow community educational strategies to be developed.

3.  Reconnecting with Jamaat Educational Partners

Synergy is an aspect that is currently being advocated globally in order for resource friendly and efficient achievement of goals and objectives. In agreement with this principle the Education Board has been striving to reconnect and strengthen ties with the Jamaat Educational bodies and personnel including the community schools in order to better understand their needs, share resources across Jamaats and develop combined strategies that can allow us to grow as a community.

Initiatives such as the Neuropsychology training and the Global Education Forum are aimed at empowering the community schools to develop the skills of the teachers and to communicate effectively with each other. Preparations are currently ongoing for the implementation of these initiatives (and others) for the year 2017.

In order to further support this synergistic approach, the Education Board is also planning an education session for the teams from different Jamaats during the upcoming Supreme Council Session in April 2017.

4.  Alumni Engagement

The Education Board through its awards, loan scheme and other initiatives over the years has promoted the development of various professionals within our community – the ‘alumni’ across different sectors and areas. The board now intends to engage these alumni more effectively to improve the services provided. The alumni will be engaged to provide feedback regarding the board’s initiatives, to provide mentoring for upcoming students and young professionals and to volunteer in other areas of the community. We also intend to begin highlighting the alumni of our community and their various achievements.

5.  Youth Support

Sis. Sajida Master who is the Administrative Secretary of the Education Board and a recently qualified career counselor was part of the team behind the recently held Girls Camp in Morogoro organized by the Africa Youths Network (AYN). Through that platform she was able to communicate with the girls of our community (from various Jamaats) both on a one to one basis and in group sessions to emphasize to them the importance of informed career choices. The girls also provided valuable feedback for the board that is currently being worked on.

In the near future the Education Board plans to initiate ‘Education Clinics’ that will be regular and deal with various education related issues being faced by the youths of the community.

6.  What the Education Board requires from the Community

Education is not only one of the most emphasized on aspects in Islam but also one of the pillars in the development of any community. The Education Board believes in working synergistically with the Jamaat leaderships, their various support structures and community members to provide the best support to our students.

We would like to urge the community members to participate in the various initiatives developed by the board. This includes the Strong Interest Inventory Assessments and schemes such as the Best Student Award.

We also request our loan grantees, their family members and the community members to support the board through regular repayment of the loans so that the board can support other students to pursue higher education as well.
Farhan Yusuf
Hon. Secretary
Education Board of the Africa Federation

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