Part 3: Joshua School in Magugu, Days 4-6
We fall into a regular pattern of village life in Magugu, walking 2km to school each morning at 7am through the little brick huts scattered in the village area. The morning walks are enjoyable as the weather is cooler, the sandy ground not too dusty and it’s a great way to start the day in the fresh air. By now the young kids have cottoned on to this morning walk pattern, and eagerly wait outside their homes ready to run and shout out “Jambo” (“Hello”) to us, following our group with cheeky smiles. Their little faces light up when we reply, and reach out to hold our hands. On a couple days, we gave out some bandana hats to the kids as well as a large family group of elderly adults who loved the novelty of a hat! In the classrooms, the teachers are well into the swing of things, educating and observing their partner teachers. The RATA teachers began by observing the classroom and teacher, then worked with them, giving constructive feedback to help their teaching skills improve. Our teachers focused on implementing tasks such as incorporating more interactive, hands-on sessions with equipment in the classrooms to counteract sitting in one spot all day.
Planning classes for the next day- activities, resources, suggesting ideas to use a picture book as a resource, and instead of just what’s in the book – expanding on ideas and elements within a story, such as counting/ science/ english/ etc.
We taught the Joshua School teachers the best way to use the library books as resources, how to look after them with the kids and modelled reading sessions to help improve the children’s learning and English skills.
The teachers responded well to the input from the RATA teachers, with lots of questions and up-skilling enquiries.
At the library, the team worked tirelessly in the 34C heat of the baking sun, lugging heavy boxes that were splitting with the weight of their contents, from one container to the next.
In three days after initial sorting, the library was completed. Distinct sections for Non-fiction, Fiction, Junior fiction, resources and picture books were created and we taught the teachers how to use a library system as well as how to locate books that they may need. The response to the library was overwhelming. We had school kids hanging around the painted doorways, hungry for books to pore over, thirsty for knowledge and eager to see what the finished library looked like. There’s simply nothing better than watching a young 8/9yr old child pull book after book out of the shelves and sit there for hours just absorbing the content. The pure enjoyment as kids sat on sun bleached rocks under the bare brown thorn trees, reading intently was the reward for a week of hard work of building an educational hub.