|REDEARTH TEACHER TRAINING |
Firstly – do you remember when Obert showed us the suffering of children in remote rural areas and our main objective was to get those children back into school and get some nutrition into their malnourished bodies? We not only achieved this at his old school – we did the same thing for many more schools! When classrooms were overflowing we realised teachers were struggling to cope with this – again, we got to work! It is now with great pleasure that we write this long overdue update to you all!
This last month we started the delivery of the Redearth Education Teacher Training programme, in partnership with approved education officials, and are excited to be the first ones to bring this programme to Zimbabwe.
Over 2 weeks our colleagues from Redearth Education Uganda visited all our schools and ECD (early childhood development) centres to do lesson observations together with the officials, teachers and our staff. The partnership worked very well, as they exchanged information with each other and the school teachers, to further adjust the first training module to fit with the Zimbabwean learning environment and new curriculum. They went on to give 2 days of ECD training and 4 days of primary school training to 37 teachers and 3 education officials.
Module one (out of four modules in total) is simple, but extremely effective! It includes such things as: the internal and external teaching environment and how this contributes to the children’s learning experiences; good time management and ways it can be improved to maximise learning time; understanding how routines and procedures link to human rights and responsibilities.
The largest part of module one is to empower teachers with the skills to create engaging learning aids and resources from free, locally sourced, recycled materials – such as plastic bottles, cardboard, sugar & mealie sacks, clay and straw.
These learning aids, games and activities are crucial in helping engage children in their lessons and improve the quality of their learning. Here are some of the resources we help teachers create and utilise in their classrooms.For full information on this unique training, which focusses on “Empowering teachers so every child has the chance to succeed” we encourage you to visit the Redearth Education page for Developing Good Practice in Teaching and Learning Programme.
Some quotes from the teachers were as follows:
“This week has helped me to remember when I used to love teaching”.
“I’ve been to several staff development days with big NGO’s like Unicef but none have been like this one – I’m so surprised at how much we have learnt and I’ve really loved it”
“I can’t believe the amount of learning resources we have been taught to make out of free materials we have every day and usually throw out. It is very creative and is going to change my classroom and lessons so much – how did we not think of this before?”
“We can no longer complain about not having enough resources – now we have no excuse to teach well”.
This feedback has come after only ONE module has been delivered and we have three more to go, along with lead teacher training and Head/Leadership modules.
At the time teacher observations were taking place we had the second term delivery of food arrive at the schools. It is very important to note that none of our work would be possible without the feeding programme. The school enrolment wouldn’t be high enough and the children simply wouldn’t have the ability to learn – the food they receive is the solid foundation of everything else we are trying to do, without it – nothing else would be possible!
A HUGE thank you to Ruff’s Kitchens, Tamba Park, WTMD, Fredrik Eklund and all those who donate to giving the children a nutritious meal every day at school.
Malnutrition is a very real problem for people who live in rural areas – poverty and living long distances from towns play a role in this. Whilst we are assisting with the immediate problem through our feeding programme, it is essential that both the schools and communities are given a route to self reliance so they do not need to wait for donors to give them food – they can grow their own! This is not easy in an area like this one as the land is not conducive to large scale farming. However, with the right skills, anyone can grown enough food for their family using the free environment handed to us – NATURE! Our Conservation Agriculture programme teaches only natural techniques and, with a seed start up pack, families can feed up to 6 people for a year, using nothing but a hoe, no other tools required! Last farming season we extended this training to the schools and we are now in the process of collating the results – we look forward to updating you on this.
For £30/year a child in rural Zimbabwe can receive a quality education, a nutritious meal every day and their families given a route to self-reliance.
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