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  • Emily Lowden

Back to school

At the mid-point of our time in Burundi, I had the privilege of being able to spend some time in a few local primary schools (as a teacher myself, this is an area of great interest for me).

Revd Yvette kindly arranged for me to visit a private school, partially funded by the Mother’s Union, to see the work they have been doing to develop the school, familiarise myself with some of the academic materials, discuss education with some of the staff, and begin to understand the differences between private and government schools. My linguistic recall was tested as I conversed primarily in French with the staff, and sat in on lessons in French (some of the pupils definitely put me to shame, it having been ten years since I last used French consistently in school).

On Friday, I was tasked with delivering some teacher training in a local government school (having previously done so in Uganda and Rwanda), something which I was very much looking forward to. Having not met the teachers in the school before, I spent some time speaking with them, and asking them what I might train them on which would be useful to them. They requested training on questioning, the benefits of open and closed questions, and how questions could best be used to engage all pupils in a lesson. We enjoyed a lively, interactive session where the teachers were able to adapt questions and write their own to suit their purposes, and also considered the benefits of interactivity in the classroom to enhance pupils’ learning.

The training was, happily, well received by both teachers and Revd Yvette, who had been translating into Kirundi for me, and I also very much enjoyed it. Revd Yvette was telling me how she wishes there had been time for more training to happen in my time there, and so asks for prayers that God may open doors for them to seek further support for teachers in schools.



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