Children in Crossfire creates change in Dodoma Schools as Government, Parents and Teachers pledge support for quality pre-primary education.
Schools are open again in Tanzania! This is very exciting news for pre-primary teachers who have recently completed their training as part of Children in Crossfire’s School Readiness Programme meaning they can now apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. A key component of the programme is called the Parent Partnership Programme, which was delayed due to Covid-19 and is now able to restart.
The Parents Partnership Program (PPP) allows teachers and parents to come together (socially distanced) to discuss positive changes to their children’s education as well as changes within the school. There is a particular emphasis on the nature and benefits of the involvement of parents in the development of their children throughout their time in education. One aspect of this is that parents get involved in transforming classrooms into ‘stimulating learning environments’. This can include renovation and painting to create a positive space in which children can grow and learn. One key aspect of a learning classroom is called ‘talking walls’. This transforms the walls of the classrooms into colourful and decorated spaces with educational images to stimulate learning and creativity. Parents help gather and make play materials which are beneficial for strengthening the fine motor skills and physical wellbeing of the children.
The PPP is always enthusiastically supported by parents and this week we had a very large turnout at Ngomai Primary School. During the meetings, parents also committed to setting up a School Feeding Programme. We often see that engagement of parents leads to this kind of additional commitment outside of our directly supported activities.
At another School, Iduo Primary School, parents helped teachers produce learning materials, even pledging to build outdoor games for the children with the aim of further encouraging active learning through play. Inspired by the response, School leaders at Ilangali Primary School matched the momentum demonstrated by the parents to allocate a new classroom for young children! They had previously been located under a tree.
The Head Teacher of Ngomai Primary School, Godfrey Nyato, said “I see how the training opened our eyes to new approaches to nurture each child’s unique skills and abilities and support them accordingly. This approach should be used at home as well.”