I was fortunate to have a great internship placement both in terms of location and substance. Thankfully, I had a strong and sincere relationship with my supervisor who was invested in ensuring that I had a quality experience and was always open to my critiques. On my last day we completed our 360 evaluation and we went over how my ToR to discuss how it compared to my actual internship experience. It was spot on; research, research, and more research with some communications opportunities in between.
We were proud of the work we were able to do together with the rest of the education sector. This includes but not limited to: 5 policy/ information briefs, 3 web articles, a pretty extensive desk review of national policies and education systems for 47 sub-Saharan African countries, 2 funding proposals, 2 cite visits to Course Sainte Marie de Hanne school and University of Chiek Anta Diop (UCAD)and lots of photos and selfies to show for it. But what was even cooler was her sending me frequent emails throughout the day of recommended professors in her network that I should contact because she believes they would be a good fit for my PhD program. Icing on the cake: she gave me the perfect and very thoughtful farewell gift of wooden jigsaw puzzle of the African continent with every country carved to its exact shape.
In the past three days I did a Prezi for my Presentation de fin de stage (end of internship presentation) for the whole education sector as well as an interview report for my supervisor and HR. As I take a final moment to reflect in writing before I board my flight, I remain confident that Africa, more specifically, sub-Saharan Africa will be just fine. Contrary to the critiques of international development organizations and those who work in them, being in the field really highlighted not only the complexity of challenges in education in the region but the commitment that these workers have to addressing those challenges. They are asking the right questions and identifying interesting critiques. I’m looking forward to joining the conversation as I continue with my own academic research.
Merci Sénégal pour tous. While my last two blogs were titled “la fin” (the end), I’m sure this is only the beginning of my beautiful and long relationship with education research in West Africa.