Humility and warmth

Dr Simon Camby, Group Chief Education Officer, recently spent some time in Colombia visiting a number of the Redcol schools. In this short piece, Simon considers the idea of humility and suggests that our students are filled with pride and passion for creating a greater good. Thank you to students Daniela, Alejandra and Tomas at New Cambridge School in Bucaramanga, for your fascinating insight. 

I have recently spent some time working in Colombia. Our LatAm team held their regional leadership conference in Cartagena. This was a fantastic event with colleagues from Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Brazil. It was great to see so many of our leaders all in one place. I know that people left the event with great connections and with a sense of being ‘stronger together’.

The rest of my week has been spent in Redcol schools in Cartagena, Bucaramanga and Medellin. Without any exception the welcome from the leaders in these schools has been warm and underpinned by a true sense of humility and professional friendship. The Redcol team are wonderful humans that we are proud to have as part of the global Cognita community. Each Redcol school is different and meets the needs of its local community.

It is a highlight to spend time with students as they are the real ambassadors in any school. At New Cambridge School in Bucaramanga, I met with Daniela, Alejandra and Tomas. They each demonstrated a passion for their school and value the education that the school provides. In conversation with Daniela, she reflected on her school. This was the reflection of a student that is about to graduate and embark on a new journey. I asked what her school means to her.

It means everything. This school has shaped who I am. Most of all it has shaped my values. I know that I want to use my education to make a difference for others. That is what Cambridge means. I want to go to university and learn more about how to write in a way that I can influence others. I hope to be able to use my learning to help children in Colombia to benefit from education. Many do not have that advantage. I am privileged and I want to use that advantage.

I find it humbling to hear and learn from the wisdom of Daniela and students like her. They show a deep sense of being grounded in who they are and how they want to use their education. Daniela recently sat the national examinations in Colombia, Prueba Saber 11 – ICFES, and will soon sit her IB Diploma examinations.

For sure, academic outcomes are important but what I took away from the conversation with Daniela, Alejandra and Tomas was deeper. These are students with pride and passion. Pride in their school and passion for their learning. Aside from the academic focus, they each showed strong evidence of civic responsibility, empathy, kindness, and global citizenship. My visit to New Cambridge School was brief. It is ranked 1st in Colombia for outcomes in the national rankings. But… this is clearly only part of the story. These are students that really want to use their education for a greater good. I wonder how national systems can quantify this. Surely this is what really matters in building a better world where individuals thrive?

———— Back to the Thought Leadership

MAY 9   /  
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