Nuru Education Team Sets Sights on the 2013 School Year

Looking Ahead

This week we are winding down our outreach program for 2012, which has made tremendous strides throughout the past 12 months. Unfortunately, due to the national teachers strike, we will not be able to take our mobile learning center to schools during the school break because the school schedule got pushed back to make up for lost time. However, there are many exciting things on the horizon for Nuru’s education program in the coming year.

Outreach Starts in Mabera Division

After being only in schools in Isibania Division since 2011, Nuru’s education program is scaling to Mabera division for the 2013 school year. We will be conducting outreach in Moheto, Gosese, and Boremagongo primary schools in addition to our nine schools in Isibania division. These schools are all in very remote areas and were identified by the Area Education Officer of Mabera as needing special attention. With the addition of these schools, we will be serving almost 1,000 more students in Pre-Unit (Kindergarten) to Standard 7. Two of our new Field Managers who have stood out as leaders, Tinyi Johnson and Ambrose Maroa, will be leading 10 new staff members to Mabera Division to work with these schools.

Upping the Hours in Mabera

The chance to scale to Mabera will also allow us the chance to test a more intensive version of our outreach program. Limits on staffing in Isibania, scheduling with schools, along with the fact we work in nine schools allowed us to only go to each school two times per month for a total of two hours per class per month. However, in Mabera, with only three schools we will be able to go to these schools every week for a total of four hours per class per month of instruction time. Our staff members have been asking to do this for awhile, and we’ve been trying to figure out a way to go more often. We believe the increased number of visits and hours in Mabera will help us to know the pupils better, tailor our instruction to the level of the learners, and create a larger impact on literacy development in these schools. If our new model is successful in Mabera it will help us to think about how we should move ahead in future scaling. We’re very excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to see the Uwezo results.

Videotaping Lessons

With the addition of our new Training Manager, George Nyamweya, we will have the opportunity to try out several new things in the field. One of the things we are looking forward to doing is videotaping lessons, or partial lessons, of each of our facilitators and then having George sit down with them to analyze their teaching style, student-teacher interaction, and engagement of pupils with the teacher. We think that this will help our facilitators to see themselves in action instead of always hearing how they did from others. Similar to reviewing film from a previous football game, facilitators will have the opportunity to make adjustments in their style and correct mistakes. They will also hopefully be able to catch these mistakes or habits in the middle of teaching during their subsequent lessons.

Other Things to Come

Our new District Manager, Julius Ngombo, will begin in January 2013 and we are excited about the wealth of knowledge and experience he will bring to our team. We’re also looking forward to developing our curriculum further and offering a variety of professional development trainings related to English Literacy instruction to our staff by our Training Manager, George. We hope to continue to analyze data we are collecting to tailor our programs to schools and classes within those schools. Finally, we hope to continue to reach out to the community and school leaders to find areas where we can strengthen education in Kuria. Hold on tight, 2013 promises to be an exciting year…

About Jimmy Leak

Education Program Strategic Advisor — Dr. Jimmy Leak has designed and managed early grades literacy programs in East Africa. While completing his Ph.D. in Education and Policy and Social Context at the University of California, Irvine, he was named a 2011-2012 Public Impact Fellow for his research on teachers and early grades student achievement.

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