With a class of over 100 pupils, teacher Josephine Nakawunde has her hands full. She is a primary six class teacher as well as the Head of Stock and English Department at Kayenje Church of Uganda Primary School. Located in Butambala district, which is over 70 km from the city, the mixed school has an enrolment of 750 pupils and 15 teachers.
In 2018, the British Council introduced the Connecting Classrooms through global learning programme which seeks to equip students with life skills. Josephine chose to took part in the training on “Introduction to Core Skills and Leadership Development”. The British Council is pleased that she has seen the value of learning and she has incorporated new learning methods into her classroom after the training,
“I decided to put more emphasis on improving reading skills as well as the effective use of questioning techniques during the teaching and learning process”.
Through this programme, I have been able to get my pupils hands on many resources and I have finally seen the benefits of learning. The pupils borrowed books which they read both at school and at home. During lessons, most of the reading is now done in groups, learners learn from each other and compete in creative writing. This is facilitating interactive lessons to provide a better learning experience for pupils. With this change, the students are now excited about learning. I see leaners sharing their notes and can present before the rest of the class. It is exciting to see their reading improve, confidence and critical thinking and problem-solving skills grow. I am spending more time in the class to make them learn.
At the end of day, I take time to reflect on our progress and the future of learning. I am incredibly pleased to share the positive impact of the project on both the pupils and on the teacher. I have been monitoring learners class activities through continuous assessment in class activities. I can see learners showing gradual improvement in reading and reasoning which revealed the average score raising from 55% to 75%. Learners’ creativity was greatly developed as each pupil in my class managed to create a poem! Indeed, these poems were compiled into books. Amazingly, a reading culture has been developed in learners as some were often spotted reading storybooks during their free time.
For Josephine, the past year has made her a better teacher. Recognising the skills and knowledge, she has developed a whole new approach to teaching methods using questioning techniques. Her lessons are more active and more interesting to learners.
“This approach is preparing my pupils to address the global challenges through creativity, critical thinking and solving. Now I am proud to call myself a teacher and I am continuing to share my experience with fellow teachers on ways to engage with their pupils”.