Success of the Day
To start my classes every day I write an entry activity on the board. It is usually a few practice problems of concepts we’ve been working on lately. The last few days we’ve been working on adding and subtracting negative numbers during the entry activity because even though we spent a lot of time on it last trimester, there is still a lot of confusion among my students. After about ten minutes of the students working on the problems in their notebooks, I call students to the board to complete the problems. Today two of my lowest students (these students can barely speak Portuguese, read, or write) raised their hands and volunteered to complete problems on the board—and they both got them right! YES.
Challenge of the Week
Yesterday evening I went to visit the director of the primary school at her house. She is one of the most educated women I’ve met in Zobue so I like talking with her because I can have more in depth conversations with her than I can have with a lot of other people in Zobue. We had a long conversation about the education system in Mozambique and how it is failing to teach children well. She says that it wasn’t always like this. When she went to school in the 90s (she is 31) she learned well. But now, teachers are not getting paid enough and do not want to put in the effort to be good teachers. Many teachers don’t show up or simply don’t teach. Materials that are supposed to be bought for the school such as chairs and books never come because the bosses pocket the money. Teacher’s salaries do not come on time. She worked hard to get a 4 year degree and still isn’t receiving her increase in salary because the government supposedly doesn’t have enough money. Class sizes in the primary school range from 45-80. Students squirm in discomfort from having to sit on the floor during lessons. In addition, she said she recently received a memo from the province saying that she is not allowed to fail any student in the whole school. So this means students will continue to move on without knowing how to read or write and reach secondary unable to keep up with the schoolwork. She says the education system in Mozambique is so bad that she is considering putting her kids in private school even though she can barely afford it. “How can a country move forward if its people are not educated?" she asks. “I don’t know,” I respond.