GULL University awards start up course with NGOs through VANGOGULL University awards start up course with NGOs through VANGO
NGO members and the staff of VANGO had had an opportunity to attend a Start-Up Course at VANGO Conference room on Thursday afternoon and yesterday morning. The course was facilitated by Professor John Wicks who introduced a system of learning called Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL). The GULL System is used in the development of fellow staff and clients they were working with in the field.
The University of Lifelong Learning (GULL) was created to provide a system for organizations, such as Non Government Organizations (NGO’s), to provide ways for their staff and clients to undertake projects and gain recognition in the form of professional degree certification. Participants from churches, cooperative societies including farmers, fisherman, local entrepreneurs and provincial governments are able to gain a professional qualification by working on projects of importance to themselves and their communities. The methodology used is called Action Learning.
VANGO’s aim is to serve NGOs and the people of Vanuatu by empowering them to be better skilled to be able to improve their organisations for better results.
After the participants in the startup have successfully completed the first few stages of the GULL system, they can coach other staff and or clients so that there is a cascading of learning down in the respective organization and out to clients.
The GULL system depends on participants having real work related issues to work on and resolve. In order to gain relative information concerning their issue or problem participants draw on the expertise of local Vanuatu managers/leaders as well as theory obtained by research and where possible using the Internet and local library resources. They analyse information obtained, recommend workable solutions and implement or take action that is approved by stakeholders. It is a collaborative learning process.
Participants are helped to reflect daily, weekly and monthly on daily happenings as well as writing of reports on their learning and project outputs and outcomes for submission and assessment by an internal and external reviewer.
To complete the five stages of the professional degree, it takes between 13 and 18 months.
GULL aims to help the citizens of the developing country get a qualification that would help them set bases for good production in their various work place or to improve the product or service they provide whether in a public sector or a private organisation or individuals own businesses. The objective of this course is to bring University study opportunity to the level of those who may not have the privilege of attending a university and help those who are interested in whatever areas they are in and build them up in their knowledge and developed their skills so that they can take up the study GULL is offering them with confidence and qualify to get a recognized award at the end of their study.
GULL is structured to help course participants build their knowledge and skills through a system of Team Work. It is an opportunity to have course participants forming themselves into little groups and set a schedule for their own meeting time that suits them best for a thirty minutes discussion or an hour according to their schedule. This discussion time is an opportunity that group members share their ideas and the progress of their study and to help give advice and support each othesr in the areas that they are lacking. In this way, any member of the study group who has a problem may be able to get advice and help from their team members. GULL is structured and organised in a way that gives opportunity for advancing your learning and building your capacity is brought to you in your own atmosphere and using your own language to put concepts in its practical meaning so that you can understand it better than having a professor presenting it in a formal academic structure in a tertiary level where only scholars who met the criteria and standard have the opportunity to attend and understand.
This means that any individual who has the opportunity to learn and improve their capacity, get better knowledge and understanding of how to approach their work of life for good product and result may have the opportunity to do so. It does not merely mean that it is easy. There will be assessment and evaluation of your program and there are set standards of work that must be submitted for marking and assessing. However, this procedures and structures which is normally centred in a tertiary level where only people who met certain criteria may obtain, now is made available to you at your door. There is only one but not the only important thing that one must make right at the start of this course of study is COMMITTMENT.
This is because when it’s at your door, the focus of study is a challenge, but your commitment to the set tasks and research component will eventually take you to the place that you want to be in the next five years. SET A GOAL, WORK OUT A STRATEGY; IMPLEMENT THE STRATEGY WITH GULL TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL.