Global School Partnership update
As you may be aware during October half term I was lucky enough to return to Tanzania visit our Tanzanian link school Kikundi Primary School in Morogoro, Tanzania.
This trip was another opportunity for the NJK School community to share in meaningful and relevant learning opportunities for both our children at NJK and the children at Kikundi.
After 24hrs travelling I arrived and met the new Headteacher, Madame Maoo, who is very keen to see the link between our schools continue and develop. For those of you who remember Madame Agness William the previous Headteacher, she has been moved to another school close by. I was lucky enough to visit her school as well, it is much bigger and a newer building but not without it's own challenges.
Previous visits to Kikundi had focused on teaching based around one or two of our school values. This year I shared all of our school values with the children and staff through a series of lessons and activities. These activities were very well received by staff and children alike. Prior to my visit all of the children at NJK thought about the school values and picked five that they thought were the most important to them. They were then asked to draw around their hand, write on the five values they'd picked and then decorate their drawing with pictures of things that are important to them. I took these hands to Kikundi and gave some to each class as I taught them as a sign of our friendship, each class will display some go the handprints in their classroom.
I had a very full teaching timetable and managed to teach in all of the classes, speaking to 450 children in total, not bad for 4 days teaching! When teaching at Kikundi I shared our values with the children and invited them to complete the same task as the children at NJK. Mr Uglua translated into English for the younger children and the older children were encouraged to try to follow my teaching in English. I taught the same type of lesson to all of the classes from Kindergarten (children aged 4 and 5) to Standard 6 (children aged from 11-17) changing the number of values and the depth of explanation shared depending on the age range. In Tanzania children have to pass the end of standard exam in order to be able to move on to the next academic year so within one Standard (class) there can be quite a wide age range. When more children arrive at the school they are placed in the class appropriate to their age regardless of how many students are in that class already. there is no maximum class size and in some schools classes contain upwards of 100 children . At Kikundi the average class size is around 50 children. Kikundi also has a Special Educational Needs unit attached to the main school and I was also able to teach those children as well.
I also spent time speaking with the teachers and explaining how our school values are promoted through out the whole of the curriculum and also during extra-curricular activities such as clubs and educational visits as well. The Headteacher was keen to adopt the same values for their school and we discussed ways in which they could make this happen.
IMPACT OF MY TRIP
One of the Headteachers biggest concerns is the dilapidated state of the classrooms at Kikundi. There is no Government funding for repairs or decoration and the classrooms are, in some cases, quite squalid. I was thrilled to be able to use some of the money donated to the trip by the PTA to purchase some paint to enable refurbishment of at least 2 of the classrooms and very much look forward to being able to share photographs of the newly decorated teaching environment with you shortly!
Mr Ugula is planning to start and after school English club. This is very unusual for Tanzanian schools, normally at the end of the day children leave to walk home alone or with siblings and friends (parents are not expected to collect their children from school and even the youngest children walk home without adult supervision). I have offered to provide English audio clips to help with this club and am planning a reciprocal Swahili/Tanzanian club at NJK in the New Year when there will be an opportunity for NJK children to send drawings, audio clips of songs etc to be shared at Kikundi school. I am very much looking forward to running this club and hope that there will be lots of children interested in finding out more about Tanzania!
On my trip I was also able to meet up with old friends, Mr Mrutu, Mrs Christopher, Mr Ugula and Mrs William as well as make many new friends and contacts. The Tanzanian people I met were so keen to improve their lives and are very interested in finding out about England, practising their English and asking questions about English culture, politics and living conditions. I felt so privileged to be able to represent NJK on this visit and to be part of such a rewarding and worthwhile collaboration.
Below are a selection of photographs from my trip.
I am hoping that we will be able to arrange a return visit for one of the teachers from Kikundi in 2019 and would very much appreciate your support for any fundraising events held.
If you have any questions at all about our link school or my trip please do not hesitate to ask me.