Nuru Education Team Shares Stories from Outreach
Great things are happening in Nuru’s education program, but sometimes the day-to-day stories and improvements get lost in the shuffle. Two members of Nuru’s Education Team wrote short stories from their experiences in our outreach program during the First Term of the 2013 school year. Here they are:
Story By: Joseph Ginono
It is on a Monday morning and every learner has settled down as we get through the gate of Nyametaburo Primary School. Down on the field, we get busy preparing for the day. One learner, Baraka, gets out from one of the classes and runs towards me and greets me happily; “Shikamoo Mwalimu?” (a respectful greeting to a teacher in Kiswahili). I reply and ask him how he is doing. He responds “We are fine, thank you teacher” as he smiles to me unaware of the mistake he has done.
Noting the mistake made by Baraka, I ask which class he is from and realize that that he is a standard four (4th grade) pupil. After a short conversation with the pupil, I release him to class and join my colleagues and walk hastily towards the classes narrating my encounter with the pupil. The team comes to a consensus that we have to move in with haste to help the learners in this area whenever we greet them, every time we get into the classes, rectifying them on the singular and plural forms of the greeting and responses.
It was rough that day as the learners were very rigid, but we hope for the best in the near future. The same case happens in more than three schools in almost all the classes. Learners only know how to respond to “how are you” as a group, that is “we are fine”, but cannot respond as an individual “I am fine.”
During the outreach reflection session back in the office, the team discusses on what to do, and the training manager comes up with a suggestion, “to prepare a lesson on greetings” the lesson gets prepared and taught the following two weeks in all the schools in all the classes.
Amazingly, the learners enjoy the lesson, including Baraka of Nyametaburo. He goes around greeting other pupils while making fun of those who fail to respond to him correctly. He however, rectifies them and feels like a hero all together. At the end of the first term, we are glad that all of the learners in these schools are able to conduct greetings and respond to the greetings correctly, noting the plural and singular forms of the same.
“Thanks to the Nuru Education team and the Training Manager for being observant on that as our learners can now greet and respond to greetings amicably,” said one of the regular teachers of the Primary schools we go to.
This is just one example of the impact Nuru teachers are having in the schools we are going to.
Story By: Simion Merengo
When I first joined Nuru in Education program, it was still working with Isebania division. When it scaled to Mabera division, I realized the education team was going to work with the schools I knew had great challenges in literacy i.e. Boremagongo, Gosese and Moheto Primary Schools.
As we started visiting these schools, the community around had realized what actually was our work in these schools and most parents would ask, “Are you going to teach farmers?” This was because they knew we were from Nuru and Nuru mostly dealt with agriculture program in their division, Mabera. Eventually the parents in the area came to know that we were helping learners to improve their literacy level up to standard two.
One time I met a parent from Gosese Primary School who was eagerly wanting his child to improve because the child could not even write his name and he was in class four. Mr. John Chacha told me he was waiting for our impact because he had seen Nuru`s results on the side of the Agriculture Program.
Towards the end of the term the parent, John, approached me and amazingly he was asking what kind of techniques we use because the children around could now read some words and talk about the Nuru teachers all the time.
John Chacha also asked me if we use different books that he can buy for his child, but I told him our impact was not only because of books, but because we do it differently in that we teach in small groups, handling pupils in a friendly and polite way, and have sufficient learning and teaching materials etc.
He then said the Nuru teachers should keep on teaching so that the pupils can continue improving.
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.Read More Stories of Hope