This week, we presented the following overview of our programs to the Ministry of Education officials and are hoping to receive their approval within the coming week. With the Ministry of Education’s approval in hand, we can then begin communication with the head teachers, school management committees and parents. Once that is complete, we can begin to implement the outreach program in May, at the start of a new school term.

Outreach Program

The outreach program consists of several initiatives that Nuru International will offer to the public schools free of charge at times determined by the head teacher and the school management committee. Materials needed for the programs will be provided by Nuru and will be funded 100% through revenue generating activities.

Outreach initiatives include:

  • Reading hour
    • Nuru Field Managers and Field Officers will coordinate with public schools that wish to take advantage of Nuru’s programs to find times that are not disruptive to the school timetable or the delivery of curriculum.
    • During these times, Nuru Field Managers will offer reading hour to classes ECDE through Standard 5. Reading hour is a time when Nuru staff will gather children, one class at a time, and read the students age appropriate storybooks to develop listening comprehension, vocabulary, English fluency and a love for reading. Nuru will arrange repeat visits so all students have access to this program twice monthly.
    • Nuru Field Managers will run a creative writing workshop following the story to encourage students to articulate what they have read, practice new vocabulary and develop confidence in their writing ability.
  • Educational murals
    • Nuru will work with public schools to paint educational murals that can serve as learning and teaching aids. These murals will highlight educational topics that will supplement the school’s lessons. Nuru will bring themes that relate to the curriculum and then help pupils create images and paint them around the school. This will engage the students, create pride in their schools, provide teaching aids and create an environment of continuous learning at the schools.
  • Mobile library
    • Nuru will circulate around public schools with a small portable library. Students will be allowed to borrow books to read over the course of a time period that has been arranged in advance with the Head Teacher.
  • Writing workshops
    • Nuru Field Managers will offer writing workshops to students in Standard 1 – 8. These workshops will focus on creative writing skills, writing confidence, vocabulary building, self expression and English fluency.  Students will write and illustrate their own stories with the support and encouragement of Nuru staff.
  • Student clubs
    • Nuru will work with the local public schools to facilitate student clubs. Because the schools in our area are under-resourced, many lack the capacity to organize, lead and implement student clubs. Nuru sees the value in these clubs as a method of developing leadership, independent thinking and self-confidence. For these reasons, Nuru will help schools set up and run student clubs.

Learning Center

Nuru has constructed a building in Keborui that will serve as a learning resource center for school children, teachers and out of school youth throughout Isibania Division. Nuru’s goal is to have one learning center for every division that is partnering with Nuru. The center will be staffed by Nuru Field Managers and Field Officers who will facilitate the learning workshops and provide one on one attention to the children. The center will be available to teachers for field trips and will include the following resources.

Learning center is a creative space that includes:

  • A teacher resource library with books, maps and teaching aids for teachers to check out for use in their classrooms as well as books they have requested to facilitate their own continued learning.
  • A small library corner for children designed to develop interest in reading, provide access to books and develop reading skills.
  • Facilitated writing workshops like those provided through the outreach program.
  • One on one or one on group tutoring will be offered. P1 certified teachers will manage the tutoring program and will especially focus on children who are falling behind or are identified as vulnerable by the teachers or parents.
  • Creative arts projects will be offered to stimulate creativity and provide inspiration for writing workshops and other activities.

This past week, we ran a practical test of our outreach programs in the local schools. The team split into teams of two and arranged time with the local public schools to test reading hour, the most straightforward of the outreach initiatives. The program is simple – entailing the Education team splitting a class, reading a story book, discussing the book and then conducting a writing workshop related to the story. So far, we have tested the program at four local public schools.

During all four tests, the students were extremely engaged and we found teachers to be highly supportive.   I’d like to share some pictures from our day at Keborui Primary that show students slowly moving closer and closer to Sabora as he read to them about Anansi the spider. After finishing the story, the students were encouraged to draw characters or scenes from the book. They then wrote the first chapter of their own stories. We will wait until we have formal approval from the Ministry of Education to begin implementing these programs, but in the meantime we will continue to refine our plans based on the feedback we have received and our experiences in the classrooms.