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FROGS Capacities Nursery School Teachers

May 14, 2008, 5:53 AM | Article By: By Nfamara Jawneh

The Friends of Gambian Schools (FROGS) recently held its third annual training workshop for nursery school teachers at Wattenshied Nursery School, Kabafita. The forum was attended by 17 teachers from various schools.

The training team was led by Barbara Jordan, a teacher from the UK with 32 years experience in early year's education. The teachers were encouraged to make their teaching fun and an enjoyable experience for the children in their care. They learned singing games, word games and language rhymes. They were also encouraged to teach the sounds of letters as set out in the "Jolly Phonics" programme, as it is by blending (or joining) these letters together that children will become successful readers and writers.

The teachers were shown how to make word and letter games from cardboard, so that small groups of children could play them together. After the teachers had tried the games for themselves, they were able to make their own games to take back to their individual schools. The participating teachers shared many ideas of their own for ways in which the games could be changed to suit their own classes; this was a valuable experience both for them and the UK team.

The day ended with the presentation of certificates to participants. Friends of Gambian Schools has shipped 32 sea containers to The Gambia over many years, but is now concentrating on helping schools by funding small projects, which will benefit their students.

They also supply new locally made school furniture, replacing roofing, tiling classroom floors, providing gardening materials and constructing fences around school compounds.

In another development FROGS has also responded to requests for garden tools from two Lower Basic Schools in Western Region.

These requests are indicative of a growing interest in schools throughout The Gambia, in including gardening in their curriculum, recognising the importance of teaching some form of self sufficiency to pupils, for use in future years.

The two schools were Sohm LBS and Kafuta LBS, and FROGS was delighted to be able to meet with their requests for help.

The hand over ceremonies at the two schools, also coincided with a visit to The Gambia by members of the FROGS UK Committee. It was therefore most appropriate that a strong delegation of FROGS Committee members were able to visit the two schools, and see for themselves the difficulties the schools experience in teaching gardening without tools, and have explained to them to what use the tools would be put.

It was particularly interesting for them to hear at Sohm LBS that not only would the garden provide vegetables for school meals, but also provide pollen for the school bee keepers, all part of the Agricultural Science Education Programmes.

The hand over of the materials was made by Mrs. Sally Reader, the founder of FROGS, and the FROGS Committee members were delighted with the warm welcome extended to them by both schools and the interesting tour of the schools and their surrounds.