Due to the coronavirus, the Amani School is currently closed, and will await further direction from the Government in Tanzania. We are working with the school to deliver soap and groceries to the families, prioritizing the most vulnerable families. We will continue to assess and respond to the needs as best we can.
At the Amani School, the teachers continue to pour their hearts into the children’s education. As we spoke with Sarah Isaak, the school’s administrator (photographed below), at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday (before the virus began), a teacher was still working with grade 5 students in the background, giving the children extra support beyond the already long school day. For the Amani teachers, it’s not just a job but a passion. Many of the teachers regularly plan extra opportunities for the students’ learning.
It’s also why the teachers offer small quizzes weekly, and then test monthly, quarterly, and so forth to ensure the students are learning the building blocks and carrying forth their learning. Sarah reinforced her appreciation for the repair of the photocopier.
“It may be a simple thing, but it makes a big difference – it reduces the workload of the teachers.”Sarah Isaak, Amani Administrator
Classroom Deep Dive: Learning Vocational Skills
While subjects include math, Swahili, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), English, social studies, religion, geography, and science, you may be impressed by the emphasis placed on a ‘vocational skills’ class every week. In short, this subject teaches life skills – cooking, sewing, personal cleanliness, and manners, but also key business skills, and practical know-how. “We teach them things like how to make a cooking pot out of clay, or a broom using coconut branches, and how to collect items in the natural environment, like Cashews, and sell them in local markets,” Sarah shared. The children seen below are learning to prepare soil and plant grass using natural manure-based fertilizer.
Investing in Teacher Training
“We had about twenty teachers who were very enthusiastic about all of the phase 1 workshops.”Margaret Christie, teacher training coordinatorA team consisting of three retired Canadian teachers attended the Amani school in the fall of 2019 to offer training to Amani’s teachers. The training incorporates a detailed curriculum developed over ten years through experience in the developing world, and in consultation with expert education researchers. The team plans to return when it is safe to travel to complete phase 2 of the training.
The lunch lines at Amani School.
Computer Classroom Update
We are thrilled to report that the computer classroom built by students at London Christian High School has finally shipped! Praise God with us that our church partner in Tanzania managed to secure a full tax exemption from the Government. This means that $20,000+ in import duties and taxes can be instead allocated to children’s education. The state-of-the-art classroom (which was built in a shipping container!) will enable hundreds of children at the Amani School to learn the basic computer skills they need to keep up in a rapidly changing world.
Please pray for the families of the Tanga region, Tanzania during shutdowns due to COVID-19, as hunger is a serious concern in the broader community. Sign up to receive regular prayer requests.
This is Pendo. She is in senior kindergarten and started at the school this past summer (2019). Her parents own farmland about 15 km from the school. Life is hard for the family, and the production from the farm is quite low.