Open Space meetings in 38 Schools in 2 Months
August 8, 2009
I’m (John Engle) in Carrefour Haiti participating in one of our Capacity Building seminars, which includes 35 of my Haitian colleagues from around the country. Among them is a small team of four that are having incredible results with Open Space meetings in schools. They have contracts with Save The Children and Concern Worldwide to work with dozens of schools. During the next two months they will do open space meetings in 38 different schools.
Last year around this time this particular team of colleagues did open space meetings in 29 different schools. The objective was to engage parents more in the life of the schools and also in their child’s education. There are numerous testimonials from school directors now that the year is over about the transformative role these meetings have had in their schools functioning, especially as relates to parents paying their child’s school fees which make it possible for teachers to get paid. In Haiti, 85% of schools are private because the state doesn’t have resources to create and run more schools. Thus, these small and often poorly run private school live on the fees paid by parents. When fees aren’t paid, teachers don’t get paid, motivation falls and everything degenerates. Open Space meetings with parents have delivered incredible results in confronting this challenge.