Yesterday we spent the morning visiting two schools in Leguruki Ward in Tanzania. We met with Mr. Tito, principal, of Nkoasenga Primary School and spoke to him about his school. Nkoasenga Primary has ten teachers and 630 students which made for busy classrooms and tight quarters for all of the students. Despite the size of classes we were excited to see that teachers had students sitting in groups which were being used to have small group discussions and to allow the students to work on assignments together. During group work the teachers were able to circulate between groups, answer questions and make corrections in understanding. The school also has a library that is used for peer study under the supervision of a teacher.
Mr. Tito had attended a two day Education Beyond Borders (EBB) headmaster conference July 2015 and was promoting the use of collaborative teaching ideas with his teachers. Mr.Urio, the Leguruki Ward coordinator and a very strong supporter of EBB in Tanzania, came with us for our visit.
After our visit to the primary school we walked down the hill to visit Nkoasenga Secondary School conference. At the secondary school we were also visiting three EBB trainers: Malietha, Makungu and Philomen.
We visited Malietha first while she was teaching Kiswahili. We observed the students brainstorming ideas for the lesson on : Utangaji wa kazi za fashihi andishi. The students used pair/share to come up with ideas. After Malietha used numbered heads to divide the students into groups so that they could discuss the important things to be considered during writing a composition. As a group the students had brainstormed the use of language, puncuation and the objective of the composition. Malietha then passed out fullscap for the students to write group notes on the section they were reading and reporting on.
We moved to Makungu's Form Four classroom where the class was working on a civic's review. Makungu's lesson plan provided for activating prior knowledge, review, a small group activity and reflection. Makungu worked with the group to establish prior knowledge of the topic then discussed the five questions to review. Makungu used numbered heads to divide the class into small groups to review and discuss the questions.
We were very pleased to see different techniques being used to engage the students in their learning. It was a demonstration of methodologies shared in EBB workshops and their effectiveness in Tanzanian classrooms.
We received a very nice message today from Mr. Amos from Nkoasenga Secondary:
I appreciate so much for your kindness and love to us. You brought such a nice gift of a all to our school...After you left students came to me and said they had enjoyed the new teaching approach by using "think and share" from the Form Four class. ... Bless you and your colleagues in general for everything you did for us. ...Thank you, Amos.
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