The vast majority of nursery teachers in Uganda have little or no training. Their buildings are invariably poor and there are extremely limited resources.
The Redearth Model Nursery provides basic training for nursery practitioners. Here nursery teachers in Masindi can access professional development and learn, by first hand observation of good practice, strategies which they can implement in their own nurseries.
The Nursery follows the child-centred approach stipulated in the Ugandan curriculum document, “The Learning Framework for Early Childhood Development” (ECD). The ongoing support and training being given to the teachers running the nursery, by Redearth, will put them in a position in the future to become trainers themselves.
Teachers spend some time getting to know each other and begin thinking about how children develop and what nurseries need to provide.
Different elements of “Learning through Play” are discussed, from floating and sinking activities in water play to having fun with dice games! The different methods, activities and approaches are tested out by the teachers. Many teachers are unused to playing these kinds of games and always have a great time!
All the games and activities shown in the training can be reproduced from local waste materials. Teachers learn how to make them using the local material around them, and can take the resources made during training back to their nurseries. Banana fibre is a really useful, free and locally available material we use to make learning activities and games with!
Charts, diagrams and posters are made on large sugar sacks, which teachers can then display around their classrooms.
Children in Ugandan schools often have very few opportunities for creative activities. We show teachers a variety of different art and craft activities which they could use with their pupils. We then practice making displays of the works made during training, showing teachers how to display their students’ works back in their own nurseries.
Afterwards, we spend some time identifying what children learn by undertaking these art and craft activities. From fine-motor development skills to enhancing confidence and self-esteem, there are lots of benefits!
At the end of the training, all teachers are presented with certificates.
Here are some of the comments made by the teachers in their evaluations of the training……
‘The workshop was really good and really kept me busy which I have liked so much’
‘I will be organising them and teaching them as a group’
‘What an interesting training..Wow!!’
‘I have learnt how to use the framework’
‘I have learnt how children learn though play’