Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things have been very busy here the last couple of weeks – exams seemed to creep up on us very quickly whilst we are still working out the basic curriculum ! – so it was all a bit of a rush to try to get them sorted out ! They really do have too many exams in this country – in many schools they have monthly written exams so it is continual working to pass the exam rather than learning for the sake of learning a concept or idea ! – however at English Alive we only have exams every three months so I suppose we are lucky to get away with it !
The new nursery class is now up and running – the interviews for teachers showed that the teacher interviewed were limited -  – rather than going through a list of questions we just gave them a book and told them to tell a story to our two children ( aged 4 and 5 )  - one teacher just read the book to themselves not really being able to read the words or having any idea at all what was happening in the story and another teacher simply changed everything into the traditional rote learning , looking at the page and then picking aspects and reciting “ This is a man “ / “ This is a hat “ etc which she wanted the children to repeat in unison several times. You can’t blame the teachers since they don’t have access to stories or books in all of the other schools but it does make you think about how poor the education in general in the country really is.
The good news is that after worrying and worrying about volunteers since the departure of Samantha about three weeks ago and consistently no sign of anyone until February ( I think most people want to stay at home for Christmas ) suddenly a new volunteer has turned up ! – She is a friend of one our original volunteers – now just over two years ago – and since she is the spontaneous type she wants to come within a week of hearing about the school !- it will be great to have a volunteer once more since the English curriculum isn’t completely sorted and the teachers find it hard to teach English and love meeting new people to get new ideas etc.

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