Following Kenyan teachers visiting Irish schools last year, five Irish teachers travelled to Londiani, Kenya to spend time with the students and teachers of their partner schools.
The visit was funded by Irish Aid’s WorldWise Global Schools programme.
The teachers from Mountrath Community School, Colaiste Pobail Acla and Cobh Community College are partnered with Siret Secondary School, Baraka Secondary School and Londiani Township secondary school.
“Development is about… ensuring that everyone has access to education and healthcare and that their basic needs are met…challenging injustice and creating a fairer world where all people’s rights are respected” – Partnership visit Journal, WorldWise Global Schools.
The week was about exploring our understanding of development, learning more about the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, sharing aspects of Irish and Kenyan culture, seeing community development in action through the Brighter Communities Worldwide programmes and challenging thoughts and opinions on how each country is perceived.
The itinerary for the week was packed, with the teachers leaving their Irish classrooms on Friday, travelling Saturday and Sunday to arrive in Londiani and then hitting the ground running first thing on Monday. Their time was spent with the students in classrooms as well as teaching staff and school principals. Kenyan and Irish teachers planned a full day’s student workshop to incorporate learning about the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and inspire the students to take action to help achieve these goals. Students representing five schools attended along with their teachers and representative from the Ministry for Education.
Planning meetings were held between the teachers to plan for the months ahead, as the partner schools continue their activities between Ireland and Kenya. The teachers received warm welcomes from each of the partner schools with singing, dancing, speeches, student performances and gifts shared.
On Wednesday morning the visiting teachers took a field visit to install smokeless stoves in two locations as part of the Brighter Communities Worldwide programme to ensure a clean, safe, smokeless environment for cooking. This gave them an insight into family living in his rural part of Kenya and the challenges faced especially by girls and women to continue an education with so much work to do at home.
High points of the week for Irish & Kenyan teachers involved included – new ideas for teaching approaches; the cultural dance exchange at the student workshop with the Irish ‘shoe the donkey’ and Kenyan East Africa dance moves; learning that challenges facing students are shared in both countries; the friendships made between the teachers and the fun everyone enjoyed throughout the week and the half day safari squeezed in before travelling home.
Reflecting on the benefits of teacher exchange visits and school partnerships, the teachers said that face to face meeting is invaluable – there is no better way to understand development and come to learn about a different culture than to experience it. Partnerships lead to breaking down stereo typical ideas of both countries and sharing resources around the Global Goals helps to incorporate them into the teaching and learning process.
Well done to all involved in a very successful exchange visit and huge thanks to Irish Aid’s WorldWise Global school programme.
You can find more photographs of the visit here: https://www.facebook.com/141560327920/photos/?tab=albumandalbum_id=10154443967892921
Watch a video of the students and teachers celebrating in dance: https://www.youtube.com/user/FriendsofLondiani1