Viktoria English Medium School is located around 10 kilometres away from Mwanza Town Centre, in the midst of a basically poor environment. After buying an already existing school in 2009 the real work was to develop the school further by constructing more buildings, like classrooms, dining/multipurpose hall, administration office, and proceeding education for our teachers. In order to make the school more self-sustaining it has to grow and develop. The costs for this development are paid by the growing amount of pupils as well as by donations. Today the school has 286 students in pre-primary through grade 7 and 34 staff. Due to the demand we also have two hostels which accommodate 50 boarding children.The school is proud to have a storage room, where all teaching materials from Opportunity Education can be stored. we divided the material into different categories like mathematics, reading, general material, science, art and music so that it is easy to find. On top of the shelve is always the teaching guide to the prevailing subject. Below you can find the different topics like in mathematics time, shapes, fractions, etc. The teachers have to sign into the storage book every time they borrow and return something. That helps to control the completeness of the teaching aids and on further on it's an outline for the borrower to discuss and reflect with other teachers who are using the same material. Up to now were are proud owner of teaching aids for class one and two. But with adaption of these materials there are also possibilities to use them in higher classes. The children love them and are looking forward every time they see a teacher coming with a box or books. Especially class two is a regularly user of the materials. This month for example they learned to read the time. For Tanzanian children this is a very difficult topic because time reckoning is different to the western countries. Thanks to the pupils clocks and the flash cards they could train in small groups, while the teachers where circulating and helping them.Experience with OE Material from a teacher's point of view
My name is Vanis Ondieki and I have been teaching at Viktoria Schools in Mwanza for one year. Besides being class teacher in Standard two, I'm teaching Mathematics, English and Vocational Skills in Standard one and two. As far as possible I use the opportunity education material in all the subjects I'm supposed to teach. Mainly I'm utilizing the material in English in topics like compound words or family words. But also the story books give a great opportunity for the children to improve their reading and also in order to learn new vocabulary as they read different stories. Furthermore the pupils like the story book a lot because they are very interesting and easy to understand. Even thought the material is in general easy to use, there are some problems that I have to face. For example the big amount of pupils in the classes makes it sometimes very difficult. Moreover the pupils are not used to this kind of material so that a long and detailed instruction is necessary. Another problem is that the Opportunity Education Teaching guides not always matches to the cirriculum of Tanzania. It always takes a while to figure out which material I can use at the moment. To minimize these problems I'm discussing the teaching aids very often with other teachers from the school. On the one side I discuss it in case I do not understand how to use it and on the other side we are talking about the material in with a view to improve its application. In order to improve the application of the Opportunity Education material I would suggest having at least short workshops on how to improve its initiation.