Tanzania Teaching Site
Tanzania is the first oversea teaching site of EWB. EWB provides the teaching site with a one-to-many format English and Hygiene & Health course.
60% of the students on this teaching site come from poor families, while the other 40% are orphans. Most of their families are small-scale farmers from a remote local village called Omurushaka.
At the beginning of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. The world all fell into unease and worry. In response to the situation, the EWB medical team first developed a medical course on the theme of Covid-19. At the same time, we began to contact some local orphanages or children’s charities in Africa, hoping to provide some curriculum help and information support in light of the pandemic. In June 2020, we got in touch with Jonathan, the head of Tanzania’s education public welfare NGO, and reached a preliminary cooperation plan.
Jonathan is the founder of a local NGO called Community Support Mission and the de facto manager of the Juhudi Day Care Center Project under the NGO’s name. The daycare center was established by Mr. Jonathan in 2003 with only 8 children, 2 teachers and 2 staff. Yet in 2020, it has reached a scale of 60 children with 3 teachers and 2 staff.
Through the communication with Jonathan and the background research of the local situation in Tanzania, we learned many things. Parts of Tanzania are still in poverty; basic education, especially preschool education, is relatively lacking. In the conversation, Jonathan mentioned many times that it is his goal and dream to carry out educational projects in the local area – because knowledge and skills are the keys to helping local families get out of poverty and the long-term development of society. The highly aligned educational philosophy and mission between Jonathan and EWB also laid a solid foundation for the subsequent cooperation.
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In the establishment of our first teaching site overseas, we faced many challenges.
In order to ensure a smooth start to the class, the teaching team investigated the background and hobbies of the kids and gathered suitable teaching materials, such as simple picture books and English teaching videos in Swahili. After the first edition of the teaching plan was completed, we started trial classes to make fine-tuning adjustments.
After the official start of the class, we found that the children who came to the class ranged in age. The youngest is 2 years old, while the oldest is 17. Therefore, the teaching team held an emergency meeting to learn more about the local students and readjusted the class plan for children of different ages.
Not only that, the number and frequency of children coming to class were not stable. Sometimes, children who appeared this day would be quite different from those who came last week. Through timely communication with the Day Care Center, the teaching team obtained the list of children participating in each course and recorded the attendance of each child. Meanwhile, we have increased the re-appearance of the same course content and tried to consolidate the teaching outcomes through classroom quizzes.
We also encountered a lot of challenges on hardware devices. Teachers often had to wait a long time for classes to start because of network connections. It was also common to experience network outages during class.
Nonetheless, the teachers would still maintain energized to teach every class well. When the classroom was poorly lit, teachers patiently adjusted the child’s seat and camera position so that each child’s face could be clearly seen on the screen, allowing everyone’s sense of participation in the classroom.
By the end of 2021, EWB had a total of 4 volunteer teachers in Tanzania Teaching Sites. They have taught 79 children and successfully launched 55 classes. After a series of pre-class research, trial classes, and recapitulation after the class, we have had a deeper understanding of the children’s learning conditions and more ideas for the design of teaching and interaction. And with the cooperation of many parties, the class attendance rate has gradually increased from 40% to the current monthly average of about 70%.
Tanzania Juhudi Day Care Center
It is planned that the Tanzania Teaching Site can establish a more complete and professional curriculum system. In addition to the main language learning courses, we hope to add courses into the curriculum that can better help local children acquire helpful skills, such as vocational courses and STEM courses. The project will be expanded in the future, and we will also seek more cooperation on various aspects.
Andi Cui, volunteer teacher at Tanzania Teaching Site:
I was a bit worried about my first two classes that failed to pass the class evaluation, which made me quite nervous before giving lessons. Yet the moment I saw my kids, I instantly felt happy. There were more difficulties than I expected since we sometimes cannot communicate effectively or efficiently. But the happiness I got from their response was so solid. Thanks to all my fellow teachers’ help, I was able to familiarize myself quickly despite the fluster at the start.
Li Qiumeng, volunteer teacher of Tanzanian Academy:
The Academy is one big, warm family doing our bit for education and children in Africa. All the members are caring, lending a ton of support and encouragement to me. I was extremely nervous giving my first class, and it only lasted half an hour due to network problems. My fellow members consoled me, and I couldn’t be more thankful. What struck me most was that the students had really clear eyes. Emotional and determined, I’ve always wanted to lighten the children in disadvantaged areas. I’m grateful for the opportunity to approach my goal.