Case Study: Role of School Leadership in Fumbuni Pre-Primary, Moshi
Children in Crossfire’s Fursa kwa Watoto (FkW) programme is a 4-year initiative working in 120 pre-primary classes in Tanzania to demonstrate that quality early learning can improve learning outcomes for children. This month the team from one of our implementing partners, Maarifa ni Ufunguo in Moshi (in the Kilimanjaro region) share their experiences of implementation in one school in Moshi District Council
Moshi Fumbuni Primary School is one of 60 pre-primary classes supported by the FkW project. The school is managed by a female Head and Deputy Head teacher and an elected School Management Committee of 11 members. The Pre-Primary Teacher is a para-professional (a non-government qualified teacher or employee and does not receive a government salary). There are 23 children enrolled in the pre-primary class. The FkW programme takes a holistic approach to improving the quality of pre-primary classes by working with the school’s Head and Deputy Head, Pre-Primary Teachers and School Management Committee who have all received training to prioritise and implement quality PPE in their school.
Before and after FkW
Before Children in Crossfire started working in Fumbani Primary School, a disused teacher’s house was being used as pre-primary classroom. Large benches crowded the small classroom in an uncomfortable seating arrangement leaving little space for children’s movement or play. The unqualified pre-primary teacher was solely responsible for enrolment, attendance, parent meetings and all issues related to teaching and administration of pre-primary. There was an inconsistent feeding programme that only catered for children whose parents could pay and the children were required to share “unfriendly” toilet facilities with older children.
FkW’s work with school leadership helped impress upon them the importance of early years as a foundation for improved school performance. They were exposed to conducive learning environments that motivate children to attend and learn in school. After FkW training, changes were made in the allocation of classrooms with the pre-primary class moving to a proper classroom in the school.
The Pre-Primary Teacher had never received formal training and the 2 phases of 2 weeks of training from the FkW team taught her about learning material development, classroom management and a variety of interactive teaching methods that encourage children to be more dynamic participants.
“I learnt how children learn with aid of required materials after attending the training of Fursa kwa Watoto project, then that is when I knew how to develop and use materials for teaching and learning.”
-Pre-Primary Teacher, Fumbuni, June 2016
Training was supported by regular visits by the Maarifa team which have helped the teacher arrange the classroom, make effective use of learning materials, develop more materials and manage the class to enhance children’s learning. There is a daily routine which alternates between child led activities in learning areas and teacher led activities that involve hands- on materials. The classroom is now attractive and stimulating with displays on the walls and materials that are accessible and appealing to children playing in learning areas children. Beyond this, the teacher now uses songs and games which has increased children’s confidence, expression and attendance. They like playing and singing which enables them to learn more effectively.
The holistic approach adopted by FkW means that pre-primary classes are supported at all levels in the school. The teacher feels confident to apply her training, arrange her classroom and use the materials and new skills she has. School management understand the importance of good early years education and encourage the teacher to apply her skills. The school management committee also holds the school accountable for improving the quality of pre-primary classes.
“I like coming to school because every day I play and look at pictures from books.” Pre-primary child, Fumbuni, June 2016
Recently the school conducted a parent meeting in the pre-primary classroom and parents were happy to see the newly allocated room with a variety of materials in the learning areas and attractive picture displays on the walls.
Our ECE Slogans
Children are designed by nature to direct their own education. They explore, observe, question, play and participate thus enhancing initiative, creativity and love of learning. When children have interest then education happens. With the support of parents and teachers in an enabling environment, children will happily advise us:
“Be proud that with your help I can teach myself.”
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