Village School.

May 16, 2011

Here are a few photos I took today during a site visit at a village school. The children here were so adorable and well behaved. I was just observing the class lessons today so I really only got to interact with the children during their break time. During that time we decided to sing some songs with the kids…they loved it and followed along with us and then they sang a few Nigerian songs for us. All of the public schools here are so different and there is very little consistency in regards to curriculum and teacher training. The village school where I was today had four teachers per classroom–talk about a waste of resources. The class sizes were even small. Each teacher teaches a different subject and while they are waiting for their turn to teach basically lounge around outside and mingle amongst themselves. The children really aren’t learning anything as the curriculum is based off of American material and they are teaching lessons that aren’t relevant to their culture. For example, today the “Science” lesson in a 3rd grade class was on sounds of instruments. The teacher copied the lesson on the chalk board from a lesson book and repeated it to them and then had them copy the writing into their notebooks. Most of the children can’t even write and don’t know letters, so when they copied down what the teacher had written nothing was actually readable. If the letter “L” was followed by the letter “e” in a word and the teacher sloppily connected the two letters, most of us would understand that they are two different letters, but the children were writing it as one letter–it looked more like a symbol when they wrote it down. Apparently these children are assessed at the end of each year determining if they move up to the next grade of not, but its obvious this assessment is not being implemented as most children should know the alphabet by age 8 and these children do not. The instruments written down as examples were drum, violin, gong, guitar, piano, and trumpet. As I said before, the curriculum is not relevant to their lives. I could guarantee that none of these children even knew what a trumpet was, nor will they ever see or hear one…and really how is learning the sounds of these instruments going to positively contribute to their learning? The reality is that it is not. The teachers even have the attitude that these children will never go further because they are village children..so really whats the point. it is really unfortunate and huge changes within the system and among teachers needs to occur.

After school got out at 12pm (another issue that needs to be addressed–class only runs from 8-12 with an hour break) Dahiru, our amazing driver came in the van to pick us up, there were 5 of us. The teachers generally walk at least a mile to get to school and so when they saw the van they all wanted a ride back to their respective villages. Two minutes later there were about 15 women in a 9 seat van, including us! HA, it was quite funny…I tried to get a picture but it didn’t turn out too great. There are several children like this boy sitting outside the classrooms wanting to go in. Because even the public school system is fee based a lot of families can’t afford to send their children to school. Quite sad to see these little guys wanting to go SO badly that all they do is sit outside and listen to what they can. Notice he isn’t wearing a uniform like all the other children–this is who they tell if they are enrolled or not. I gave them stickers and I think it made their day 🙂

Going to an organization called Spring of Hope tomorrow to talk with the founder who is an HIV positive woman and provides counseling and support to other HIV positive people and orphan children. Should be interesting…

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One Response to “Village School.”

  1. morgan said

    yay! now when you get back you will want to help A2S make the schools better in nigeria! :). i wish we were on the same trip!!

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