July 22nd, 2009
Written by Michelle Averna, Executive Director of Fount of Mercy
During our first strategic planning meetings with TAOST's head teacher Francis, we quickly learned that one of the greatest hurdles TAOST Academy has struggled against in their attempt to offer quality education for the orphans in their community is curriculum. Over the last three years the Ministry of Education in Uganda has released new curriculum for primary 1, 2, and 3. Each year a new level of curriculum is released. Eventually all 7 primary levels will have a standardized curriculum. Each curriculum has three parts, the curriculum (what to teach and when basied around themes), a teachers resource guide and a teachers guide book.
When we asked Francis which parts of the curriculum he has, he produced two pieces out of the nine he should have. When I asked him if he and his teachers had been trained to teach around a theme (new Ugandan standard), he said no. Six out of seven of his teachers are new teachers.
One phone call later and we had the Ministry of Education's Teacher Training Center (TTC) Director in Francis's office and for only $25 we were able to purchase the remaining seven pieces of curriculum that TAOST needs to be teaching their students alongside the Ugandan standard.
The icing on the cake: The TTC director invited Francis to a future workshop that he will be conducting and sat with us dreaming up ways that Fount of Mercy can work with his department to offer professional development for teachers all over Jinja. Literally at one point he said, "I could easily have over 180 teachers available for one of your workshops." So exciting.
Next step is to prepare Francis and his teachers in using their new resources. Suddenly it feels like we don't have enough time :)