In 2011, we made our first visit to Magugu in Tanzania. This little village is about 3 hours drive from Arusha, and very close to Tarangerie National Park. Magugu is a town known locally as the place that has no water – there is a village well that has a limited supply and holes in the ground where grandmothers spend the day trying to extract a few bucketfuls.
It is here that the Joshua Foundation School is based, and it is overseen by the Joshua Foundation in Arusha. The school has two kindergarten classes and 8 Primary School classes, it also has an adjacent High School. All the teachers we worked with have had no formal training, and over the past years the Joshua Foundation has worked to upskill these teachers in delivering a meaningful, child centred educational programme. They have done a great job, but over the last few years they have been really stretched with the other projects that they are involved in and had to restrict the training they could give the school in Magugu. They then heard about RATA and asked us to help. The Joshua Foundation is run by Kiwi’s and it was our privilege to accept there invitiation to help.
In 2012 we sent our first full team with 6 RATA teachers and we spent the week 1-on-1 with a Joshua School teacher. We modelled lessons, we mentored, we got their curriculum and breathed creativity and life into it. It all accumulated in a Teacher’s Only Day, where together, we worked on reading skills, maths strategies, science and working with the leaders of the school to draft a Learning Road for the next year.
- We learnt to use different activities on the lessons
- We learnt how to display the students work and why that was important
- We gained more experience in teaching and learning strategies
- We learnt that the children need to be nurtured and we worked out how that looks like, feels like and sounds like together.
- We learnt that children work best in groups that are in the same learning levels, and that the children in the class are all at different stages in their learning and so we cannot expect them all to learn the same things.