This is an enrichment class at Bethel Junior School… Pupils are being taught life skills and not necessarily what they learn in a traditional Ugandan class. Here they are allowed to break rules and imagine even the impossible - it’s part of the process.
These classes are taught by informal Israeli teachers, many of whom in military service back at home.
“We come with respect to learn, as well as to teach and try and create a different perspective on creativity and open mind, and think outside the box.”
Topics range from team work to critical thinking. And, outdoor training is a large component of these classes
“I think these activities have helped to improve on our creativity”
“It helps us to refresh our minds and also learn more about how to do other activities using hands – something like that. And it is also encouraging, it helps us with team work.”
Tom Rosental leads the team of volunteers under Project TEN which is established in four schools around the country. They point out the classes offered do not replace any on the schools` time tables and the program is free of charge.
“We are here to develop 21st century skills, with the students we are working with. We are doing it with informal activities focusing on art, thinking games, music, stories… We are visitors in the class, and we need full collaboration with the locals themselves.”
Local teachers feel ready to take on new approaches
“We need to adapt to them, because the methods that they use to teach the learners, are the rightful methods that need to be used during the teaching – learning process”.
The ministry of education is set to introduce the abridged curriculum with which learners won’t write exams as much as they do now. But until then, those benefiting from project TEN will have gained hands on expertise required in the new age to survive.
Raziah Athman, for Africanews in Entebbe, Uganda