My first meeting with the parents and guardians of the teenagers who attend the Kilimahewa Center took place over two years ago. At the time, I wanted to tell the adults about the changes coming to this community school –professional Tanzanian teachers, a government curriculum and books, even individual desks. I wanted to drum up awareness of and enthusiasm for these new learning opportunities. (Reminder- these are teens who can no longer access formal schooling).
As the Swahili expression goes, Tutaona – we’ll see. In the meantime, our teachers and the Center’s Director, Grace Lyimo, are putting together a full court press to prep the older students, who will be take the first Qualifying Test (that offers a road back to a secondary school degree) in 6 weeks, and to energize the younger 13 and 14 year olds to work on English, math, and computer skills that will open online learning. I try to remember that many of these kids walk miles a day to and from school in the heat with little to no breakfast).
Despite rejection by a government system and society, a world of possibilities does exist for these teenagers because of EdPowerment. But only they can grab the “golden ring” of education (sorry, just had to use a Catcher in the Rye allusion :).
|Rebecca, our academic headmistress|