Concentration – Children learning I

By: miktator

Apr 11 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Africa

1 Comment

Aperture:f/2.8
Focal Length:7mm
ISO:100
Shutter:1/40 sec
Camera:CYBERSHOT

Within the next days I will publish a series of photos depicting the Montessori Institute of Mwanza, a school that has been founded several years ago by a Swiss nun. Mwanza is the town I have already written about quite a lot. It is located at the shore of Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

The Montessori Institute consists of nursery school, a primary school, a secondary school and a teachers college including a workshop where the teachers produce Montessoritools/toys. It is probably one of the best schools in the town, at least one of the most humane as the teachers are not allowed to beat the children, which is quite a common practice in Tanzania even nowadays. To understand what the Montessori Institute means to Tanzania one has to learn about the problems of Tanzania’s educatory system. During the last years, the Tanzanian government has built hundreds of schools all over the country in order to fulfil UN-requirements. However, while the number of schools has increased impressively,  the number of teachers has not. So the Tanzanian government has started “one-month crash courses” in order to provide the country with more teachers. Sadly, the new teachers themselves have often not completed secondary school. Consequently, there are uneducated teachers teaching 40 to 70 students in a room that has neither enough desks, nor benches, nor pens, nor books, nor nothing…

The Montessori schools try to train their own teachers. Two of them are responsible for 30 students which all have books and and a place to sit and desk to write on. One might think this must cost a lot. Of course, the school fees are higher than the one’s of the government schools. But not so much. And the Swiss nun that is running the entire school tries to support as many children as possible by seeking support from wealthy entrepreneurs in Tanzania and Switzerland. At times 150 students can be supported this way. For now this is enough of background information.

On the picture above you can see the nursery school of the Montessory Institute. All the desks, toys, uniforms etc. have been produced by locals in the workshop the school is running.

For more information on the Montessori Institute visit: http://www.montessori-tanzania.ch

(Copyright by Michael Schilliger, 2007)

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One comment on “Concentration – Children learning I”


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