Even though all the schools in Shimoni are closed at the moment there is always something you can do for education. Currently I am working on a Life Skills Package for Secondary Schools. Life Skills are a crucial part in the education of young people everywhere in the world; in our Health Project we are teaching them at Junior Academy and Secondary School. However, it happens quite often that, when it comes to teaching, addressing and discussion of topics that are considered to be very intimate and private meets personal and cultural barriers. Many teachers have problems talking freely about things like premarital sex, drug and alcohol abuse, adolescence or diseases what makes it even more difficult for the students confronted with those topics. With this background, the performance of Life Skills Lessons at schools here can be limited. With the focus on Science and Maths, they often do not take place at all.
|Shimoni Junior Academy students learn about manners in a Life Skills class|
To support the teaching of Life Skills in Kenyan schools we are currently working on a ‘Teacher Training Project’. The goal of this project is to introduce teachers from Primary and Secondary Schools to a new method of teaching Life Skills. The first step of this project involves entering the official Life Skills Curriculum from the Ministry of Education into a computer-based formula which eventually will be handed over to the schools. We are also creating Lesson Plans about additional topics to supplement the curriculum.
|Kids get creative in life skills class|
At the same time there are preparations going on for a teacher workshop in which we are going to present our Life Skill Package. As part of this workshop we offer information concerning the contents of Life Skills lessons as well as knowledge about different teaching methods and skills. The participating teachers will get a chance to make themselves familiar with the different topics of Life Skills and give them tips on how to more efficiently teach the subjects.
Currently we have plans to start the first workshop early next year for teachers from Shimoni Schools and, depending on how the teachers and the schools will adapt to this project, we will hopefully be able to continue with more workshops other schools in the area.
|Team building exercise in a Life Skills class|
This project will offer an opportunity to improve the teaching and learning of Life Skills at schools in the area. This contributes directly to public health initiatives because when it comes to issues like HIV/AIDs and other diseases, or sociocultural matters such as self-determination: education and the creation of awareness are two of the most important tools we have.
Ziska Paukert – Combination expedition volunteer