Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Women's adult education in Mkwiro

After getting my first taste of Adult classes assisting Madam Julie, community field staff, I was super psyched to be lead teaching Adult English later that week alongside my good buddy Kopa. With the help of Julie again (for the umpteenth time since I began community), we planned a lesson involving a short passage based on Djamila Bouhired, an inspirational Algerian freedom fighter. The topic was chosen to show the women of Mkwiro Village or at least the 3 keen, yet still slightly shy women who turned up, that some women around the world have the power to make a difference. We obviously had to be careful not to impose ideas onto the women so we let the passage do the talking. The reading exercise went well however this was the first comprehension that these ladies have ever attempted, so when it came to answering a few simple questions on the short-text the ladies persevered for a long time determined to answer correctly. Tima, the oldest of the ladies whose English is still at a very basic level, tried to convince us to explain some of the text in Kiswahili (which would be cheating) but we managed to resist her pleas and THREATS. At the end of the lesson, Julie asked the women what question they would ask Djamila if they could meet her and Khadija, a very bright and hard working mother said, ‘ I would ask her why she did what she did?’, which I thought was a really cool question to ask and a fitting way to end the lesson

Mishal and Kopa in the Mkwiro adult English class

Today was Kopa and my first Adult Math lesson as joint lead teachers and we definitely both enjoyed the experience despite the hot, stuffy library conditions. After having to deal with a few moody Standard 8 students earlier this morning, the kind and gentle faces of the five ladies that turned up was a lovely sight indeed. Most of them were not present for last week’s first lesson on Equations and therefore the ‘quick recap’ ended up as more of an explanation and introduction to solving simple equations. This also gave the two women who were present last week, Khadija and Asha, a chance to re-call the work as well. I was quite pleased to see that the women were also much more confident this week even volunteering to come up to the blackboard and show off their awesome equation solving skills. The ladies seemed to grasp the concept quite naturally and so it did not take them long at all to master the topic. This meant that an exercise that I thought would take at least 30 minutes was completed in 10 minutes and at the end of it almost everybody had got all the questions correct. It was a very satisfying feeling to know that what you taught was actually understood. The amazing women of adult education continue to pleasantly surprise me.

Mishal, NSP