Report of Overseas Training in Toronto and Washington, D.C. (Jeje)

This is a summary report of my participation in the two-phased field study exercise conducted in March 2014 for a total of 14 days, including travel days. The field exercise is an annual event planned, organized, coordinated and led by Dr. Keiichi Ogawa (Professor). The study attracted 9 students including me (i.e. 8 from Kobe University and 1 from George Washington University, USA). The purpose of the field study is to enhance/ broaden the knowledge of the participating students as regards international education development and risk management.The first phase of the field study exercise was conducted in Toronto (Canada), and the second phase was conducted in Washington DC (USA).

The first phase of the field study involved attending the 58th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES 2014) in Toronto Canada. The venue for the CIES 2014 annual conference was Sheraton Center Toronto Hotel under the them; “Revisioning Education For All”, and it lasted a total of six days (10th – 15th March 2014). While at Toronto, I presented preliminary findings of my doctoral research project, attended conference sessions related to my area of study. I received very valuable and informative comments and advice on how best I can improve my doctoral research project. The session I presented in was titled; “Retention and Promotion in Primary Education in Uganda.In addition, I also networked with well reputed experts in the field of international education development including; Dr. Kenneth King (Professor Emeritus) from the University of Edinburgh, Dr. John C. Weidman (Professor from the University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Dr. Mary Goretti Nakabugo (Uwezo Uganda Country Coordinator) to mention but a few.

The second phase of the field study exercise was in Washington DC, USA – lasting six days (17th – 22nd March 2014). At Washington DC, we visited six institutions involved in both academic and professional development of education nationally and internationally and these are; the World Bank, George Washington University, Inter-America Development Bank (IDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and FHI360. We attended several pre-arranged meetings with key experts in education development and experts in academia. All the meetings were arranged by Dr. Keiichi Ogawa.

Taking part in this field study exercise provided me with the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in the area of international education development, international work environment and risk management in the context of education discipline. Specifically, I learnt about the need for good communication skills, writing skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills and management skills. Furthermore, I learnt about the need to be proactive but within the realm of teamwork geared towards the attainment of the overall objective/ goal of the institution. This field study enabled me to widen and deepen my knowledge of key education concepts such as learning outcomes, teaching and learning process, Systems Approach to Better Education Results (SABER), School Based Management and risk management in the education perspective.

By Jeje Moses Okurut