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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fulani School Report

Posted by Cindy Gracelyn Yeboah
The following Report is from Audrey....

We had our 6th session, this time on a Tuesday due to the Easter bank holiday. We started at the usual time, just before 9am, this time hoping to get a fair number of the women from the community. We got one more than last week, 4 in total …..so we are moving in the right direction, even if not at the pace we would like…perseverance and word of mouth I think will get more women attending soon. There were 6 teachers altogether this week which was great because it meant we could split the group up appropriately and give more specific attention were needed. Thanks to Lydia, Emmanuella, Akua and also Newton who had joined us on the day. And of course to Cindy, who is very committed to the project.

It may just be the 6th week but the difference in the students really is noticeable. There is a much higher level of alphabet and number recognition, and they can certainly recite A-Z and 1-20. They are so
keen to learn. We started off with the usual songs and rhymes, and taught them a new song. They recalled the new song we taught them last week…impressive!

After our warming session we split the group into 4, according to ability. Ilias received his one to one tuition……if you recall from last week, he had been given a book “the gingerbreadman” to read. Ilias is just learning how to read, so I knew this would be a challenge, but to my surprise, he narrated the story back to me and read the book to me from cover to cover. He didn’t have the fluency and some pronunciations were wrong, but overall it was a fantastic effort for his first book and very encouraging. He is now on his second book.   It really is so important we get this young boy back into the classroom. Our aim is to get him in school with the next academic year in September.

The next class was the teenagers class…there were 4 students in there. Cindy took this class…she was also impressed with their progress, particularly with alphabet recognition and reading short words. They are very interested and enthusiastic which I think makes all the difference.

The third class was run by Akua and Newton. They focussed on numbers 1-10. This class had our 4 women and some of the younger ones like Barikisu who is very bright. By the end of the session they were able
to write and count to 10, through various number games and recognise the numbers in any given order.
The 4th class had the under 8s. This week they had the opportunity to explore their artistic, creative minds. They were given some pictures to colour in and plain paper to draw. I think we could have some future Picassos in our midst! They had fun with it and we had less fighting and crying from them this week!. A good opportunity to also learn their colours. Altogether we had a two and a half hour session with them ….productive and fun for them.

Even when the classes ended and the teachers were leaving the students didn’t want to leave and remained seated….they really are very eager to learn and excited about this new prospect and I guess it also breaks the monotony of their usual everyday activities. I have no doubt this project is making a difference in this community. If they can at the very least learn to read and write, so many aspects of their lives will change…..the ability to read their drug dosages on the bottles from the hospital,  the ability to read health posters and other health information, the ability to gain knowledge through reading and educating themselves, all become possibilities and a reality for them.

Our aim from now onwards is to include something relating to health each week…either  through songs or illustrations [ enabling these young people to reach a level where they have the desire to, and ability required, to integrate to a formal school.]

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