Dr. Brad Oliver, associate professor of education for the IWU School of Educational Leadership, has been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a team sent to work on the Elephant Project, an initiative to train Christian primary and secondary school teachers in Congo on the proper way to integrate faith with education.

He sent an email to President Wright on Sunday:

Tonight, the team got the shock of its life. We looked up from eating in the hotel café and found ourselves on the national newscast. They did a feature story on the Elephant Project, showing footage from the first week’s training sessions. Millions of Congolese in Kinshasa are now aware of the Elephant Project and the three-year-old partnership of IWU, Cairn, Cedarville, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Association of Christian Schools International in the DRC.

The national Education Coordinator, Papa Lala, has identified 95 of the best teachers throughout Congo. They are in Kinshasa for two weeks. The national church has taken unprecedented steps to house these educators while we equip them to go back to their national regions and start training school leaders and teachers in aspects of spiritual formation, pedagogy and leadership. Last week, the three spiritual formation modules were completed and the school leaders are discussing at length the need to make certain teachers are in a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This week, I am lead-teaching on effective teaching and learning, while Debbie MacCullough trains them on classroom management and Mitogo Opira teaches the module on assessment.

…It is our hope their President will see the benefit of starting a teacher training program. As many of you are aware, the few Bible colleges which exist in DRC do not prepare teachers. The Elephant Project represents the first national undertaking to improve the quality of the 18,500 Protestant church schools that serve over 5.8 million children.

To read more about the work of the School of Educational Leadership, visit their page here.

Photo: Wikipedia/Irene2005