Last year, Boaz Da finished his research on how teachers can integrate Biblical values in the classroom. Since then, Boaz has been speaking at various conferences to share the importance of value-based Christian Education. Additionally, he works as an Advocacy and Communication officer at AESEB, the National Alliance for Evangelical Schools in Burkina Faso. As a member of the INCE consortium, Boaz is engaged in policy influencing as well as training for school leaders and teachers. ‘My wife and children have always encouraged me and made sacrifices to make this possible. I am very thankful for that!’
Why did you decide to start studying at Driestar Christian University?
When I started working with AESEB in 2016, I discovered that Christian Education is very important in the Mission of God but is not understood very well by people in my country. When I visited the Netherlands for the kickoff conference of INCE I was touched by the slogan of Driestar: “To Teach is to Touch a Heart”. I was thinking in my heart that I would like to study in such a Christ-centered institution, but I did not know how and when. And then, in 2018, I got the opportunity to start the master’s programme ‘Learning and Innovation -Track ‘Christian Education’’. I started the application process and God willing, I was accepted. God is not limited and nothing is impossible to those who Trust him and who want to do His business!
Why is quality of education important?
Quality of education is all about flourishing and thriving. In quality education the child is equipped to flourish in all aspects of his life: intellectual, spiritual, social, physical, etc. Quality of education is important, because if we miss that, we cannot reach the three social roles of the school: education, socialization and usefulness. In addition, from a Christian perspective we will add that children must be helped to prepare their life for their spiritual destiny. Without quality of education, we cannot talk about flourishing and good social change.
Why is values education an important element in quality education?
Values education completes the puzzle ‘education’. If values are not taken into account in education we really cannot say we are providing quality education. C.S. Lewis has shown the danger of education without values when he said: “Education without morality makes intelligent devils.” Pike (2013) was also advocating for quality of education when he argued: “We do not want children and young people to pass exams and then ‘flunk’ life; we want them to achieve a personal best in both. A good parent helps their child to become a good person. When the child is at school, teachers are in loco parentis (in the place of the parents).” I think Pike is saying that values education is the foundation on which knowledge and skills should be built on if we want the student to really flourish!
Can you give an example of a school with value-based quality education?
I did my research at the ‘Lycée de l’Alliance Chrétienne de Ouagadougou”. This Christian Secondary High School is known to be one of the best Christian secondary schools in Burkina Faso. Two years ago, this school won two awards from the Ministry of Education, for excellence in educational leadership and academic achievement. The principal, staff and teachers of the school are really involved in the character formation of their students. They have initiatives in the follow-up of the children’s behavior and discipline. The spiritual program is rigorous and they even have a program of preparation for life and trades. In a context where indiscipline and incivility are growing among youth in general, this school is a good example of trying to implement quality of Education.
What do you hope for the future? Are you planning to speak at more conferences?
For the future, I hope the results of my research will serve in Christian schools and will also contribute to values teaching in other schools in the country. The framework I designed is easy to use and each teacher who is willing to do more about values teaching in his subject could find the Values Teaching Template (VTT) helpful. I also hope that I will have the opportunity to speak at more conferences. I also have the dream to start a PhD study in Education. The PhD will permit me to teach at University level to share the vision. That would make me more effective in policy influencing ideas as well.