Defeating Ebola – Sierra Leone’s triumph or a victory for salvationism?

ebolapostersignsandsymptoms_a2_2july2014_thumTom, (Director of Think Global), in your latest blog  you portray Sierra Leone’s victory over Ebola as A Story of Aid Success. Rather than credit the Sierra Leonine people for this victory you decided to use the story to plug the UK government, the principle of western salvationism and the consultancy work of your own organisation. In the name of balance I have to take issue and give some counter point:

You mention that you have studied Sierra Leone’s history, but you make no mention of the UK’s role in creating and maintaining the conditions in which the Ebola crisis developed. Instead you wax lyrical on how the UK resolved the crisis – a serious lack of balance.

You promote the work of DfID without making it clear that DfID pays your salary – again a lack of balance.

You make it clear in the last paragraph that the real point of you even mentioning the Ebola epidemic is for you to promote Think Global’s consultancy work – not just a lack of balance, but a misappropriation of the human stories behind the Ebola epidemic.

It’s a real shame that neither you nor Think Global could help UK teachers and learners understand the historical, social, political and economic causes of the Ebola epidemic. Instead you chose to use it as a means to promote your organisation, your employers and your industry. Global Learning is desperate for an alternative to this damaging and salvationist narrative! Please reflect on your strategy and direction!

Finally and for the sake of balance – the defeat of Ebola in Sierra Leone is the victory of  Sierra Leone, not of the UK and the ‘international community’!

On ‘Critical’ Thinking

peckham spring waterBeware the proponent of ‘critical thinking’. When you hear someone promoting the concept, ask yourself:

“do you really want me / my learners to think critically or do you just want me / us to agree with your perspective and share your criticisms?”

You would be surprised at how easily many ‘critical thinking’ gurus get upset when you think critically about what they are saying!

Thinking is a critical activity (in both senses). The proponent of ‘critical thinking’ is often selling tap water as his own patented medicine – don’t be fooled! You were already thinking critically and teaching your learners to do so well before the ‘critical thinking’ guru turned up with his Peckham Spring water.