Heart for Uganda

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Term 2 Holiday Happenings- Part 1

Posted on September 11, 2015 at 7:00 AM

A couple years ago Change The Truth was awarded grant funding from the Good People Fund (www.goodpeoplefund.org) . They have assisted CTT and SMK in the implementation of a Holiday Enrichment Program when the students are home at SMK for their month-long holidays in April, August, and December. The main focus of this Program is academic lessons. There are secondary aspects of holiday activities and career guidance, too. (More about the career guidance aspect coming soon.)

 

Ugandan classroom populations are by nature very large in size. In a Secondary school it is not uncommon to have 50-80 students in a classroom. With so many students, the nature of teaching is impersonal with students copy notes from the blackboard while the teacher lectures. Interactions are usually limited to students as a group reciting something back to the teacher in a rote manner.

 

During SMK’s Holiday Enrichment Program, the class size is drastically reduced to 12-15 students, which encompasses the individual Secondary classes of Senior 1, Senior 2, Senior 3, and Senior 4. The pace of the topic review discussions can go as quickly or slowly as the students’ comprehension. More hands-on work, practical applications, and examples can bring about an understanding that may have been missed in their school classroom environment. Prepared notes, textbooks, and handouts also provide additional resources of information. The overall goal is to fill the gaps of learning comprehension from the current term’s work before the student moves onto the next term. For this Holiday Enrichment Program, classes were offered in Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English and Computers.

 

For the past couple years, I have actually had the experience of teaching English and Computers. My only qualification for ‘teaching’ English is that I was previously a good student, and it is my first (and sadly only) language. I have enjoyed the experience of preparing and presenting topics in class. In English class, students choose the topics for revision, as I wanted our limited time to be of the maximum benefit to them. It is truly delightful to watch a young person’s mind and creativity come alive! Maybe in another life, I would be a teacher. (One of my greatest mentors was my High School English teacher. I have thought about her a lot while teaching English to these young people!)

 

In Computer classes, students are finally grasping the basics of Microsoft Word. This term has been particularly rewarding, because all of our previous holiday lessons have finally culminated in completing a project. Students were able to type their required Sponsor Letter. It was fun to see them excited and proud of their achievement! It is also providing a skill that they will benefit having in their future.

 

We certainly are hopeful that these Holiday Academic lessons are making an impact for students. It is keeping their minds active during holiday! Another special thanks to Change The Truth and The Good People Fund for providing this opportunity to the Secondary students at St. Mary Kevin Children’s Home!!

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Categories: SMKOM