Our Boat

We are sailing to our destination of amicable excellence amid tides of hardship and fear. Our team boat carries hearts service, diligence, valor,reliability and smiles. Despite what we face, our faces never look down and we will never be deterred from our bearing.

Cleanliness breads beauty. In our quest for beauty, we discovered litter out in the playground. Rubbish was being burnt on open ground bound to endanger the humble pupils. Identifying a corner in the school, away from the playground, we dug a pit two weeks after starting work. The pit now offers a safer place for disposal of rubbish and its burning. We killed the birds of beauty and safety with a single shot.

Juliana Stancapiano, chief executive officer of Oxygen Learning, a company that provides an immersive interactive and innovative approach to corporate training reported, after a research, that more learners were able to grasp concepts from drawings as opposed to written notes. Armed with that, we set out a target to pin learning charts in all classes. It was fun. Some of us discovered we can barely draw (well at least we had rulers) while some improved their already existing artistic minds. In the long run, we have been able to pin charts as targeted and this does not stop here, the more the merrier. Pupils now find it easier to understand things from their talking walls. We are confident that this will improve their overall grades.

After interacting with pupils, we also discovered a ‘Math Fear’ “Eeeh, Maths ni ya watu wa Makini”(Math is specifically for Makini Primary School), “Teacher me sitafanya Maths kepe (KCPE)“(Teacher, I will not take Math during my Kenya Primary Certificate Examination, (KCPE).Working with negative minded kids came out as breaking diamonds. Believing in the power of experience and motivation, we talked to the candidates and made them understand the importance of Mathematics. After three or four willing souls were identified, we introduced Math Hour in the classes. Our main aim is to help the kids improve in the subject by making it enjoyable. After loving the subject, we hope they will realize the power in working with numbers.

Another weed that hindered the working of our boat motor was the level of English of the pupils.In a world like this one we live in, communication is key. Not just any type of speaking but eloquent confident speaking. Only a handful of pupils are able to mutter more than twenty correct English words without making a mistake. It is time for a positive change and it starts with only a step. Starting with spellings, we introduced dictation with the urge to improve both oral and written English. So far so great. We have noticed a change their language. Yes we are midway the ocean but we will cross to the other side successfully. 

Apart from teaching, we have been involved in activities like serving lunch, cleaning chairs, helping in organizing school events and motivation of the students. We believe in offering assistance in any field and we will not stop until our presence is justified.

One of the most hardest things to deal with is the impoliteness and disrespect from pupils. Owing to their backgrounds, the children often talk back at teachers. Discipline instills fear for a number of minutes and after that, the child goes back to his/her ‘normal state’ It becomes hard to talk to pupils because of their obvious responses. Either way, persistence is part of us and we will not change course.

Did we forget to mention love as our fuel? The best way of showing love is through service and that is why the bustling traffic of the city does not stop us from going to work every morning. Joseph Kang’ethe Primary School team has come so far. We are not yet there, but our boat is not capsizing any time soon.

By Jerusa Valarie,

PACE Volunteer
Joseph Kang’ethe Primary School

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