As I talked about in the last blog, Full Circle is very busy with a new and exciting pilot project! Well, as promised, now you get to hear all about it!
What started out as a quest to encourage teachers to incorporate life skills in their teaching, has turned in a much large project than I ever could have anticipated. Here’s the low-down:
In the Tanzania primary school curriculum, there is a class called Personality Development and Sports (or Haiba na Michezo in Kiswahili). The subject was created in 2005 to instill skills and knowledge like communication, decision-making, health, sports, teamwork, citizenship, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Coincidentally, these are all topics that Full Circle tackles as well.
Melissa, our awe-inspiring Teacher Training Program Manager, saw an opportunity there and brought it to my attention. You see, the curriculum and resources that are currently available for Personality Development and Sports (or PDS) are limited. Because it is a relatively new topic, teachers have never been trained on what it is or how to teach it. While Tanzania has a national testing system for all subjects, PDS is not included. The result of all of this: Teachers are ill equipped and unmotivated to teach the subject, and students suffer from the lack of resources and teaching and never obtain these skills that are vital to success.
So, this is where Full Circle’s initiative comes in. We have designed a three-part strategy to ensure this class teaches students these important skills that.
During the past year, we have created an activity guide that correlates with the national curriculum. The guide is holistic and participatory, giving teachers ideas and instructions to lead PDS activities in their classes. It also gives them the tools to assess student learning and progress for each topic.
The second portion of our support is training. Again and again we have heard from teachers, administrators, and school inspectors that teachers simply lack the information and training for this topic. They don’t know what it is supposed to look like, so they run from it. In the next few weeks, we will be holding a week-long workshop for 20 teachers from 10 schools.
Lastly, we will be providing teachers from these 10 schools with tool-kits to facilitate activities at their school. These tool-kits will contain everything from sports balls, to team-building tools, to paper and scissors. The exciting thing—these tool-kits will only cost around $50 per class! If you are interested in supporting this, just make a $50 donation to our Holiday Giving Campaign!
This week we have a team of 9 in the field doing a baseline study of 20 schools in the district. Throughout 2015, we will be monitoring the implementation of the teaching guide with 10 schools to measure the success, with the plan of expansion in the coming years!
We are really excited about this new project and the potential that exists for TFFT to impact the life skills education that students across Tanzania receive! If you are interested in supporting this initiative through sponsoring a teacher to training, contact with Kaitlin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details!