Sunday, 28 September 2008

Claudine's list

  1. When I do inspections I always have a slot where I ask the Head teachers what things make them angry about the school system; what things prevent them achieving what they would like to do. The response varies widely. Some heads are almost afraid to mention anything negative in case it rebounds on them. Claudine, however, the head at Mata, gave me an enormous list, which I have translated, and slightly shortened. It gives you a perfect insight into the kinds of difficulties which these heads – good people almost without exception – face in trying to list standards and create the kind of literate society Rwanda needs.


    Not enough children are succeeding in exams and there is a need to raise the success rate, especially at P6
    There is a shortage of teaching material
    The latrine provision is insufficient
    There is no provision to catch rainwater to use for hygiene
    Hygiene provision at the school is not good enough for the number of children
    There are not enough classrooms
    Children are sent to school by their parents without materials (pens, exercise books)
    The number of children abandoning school is unacceptably high. Just as bad is the number who are pulled out of school for a few months to work, and then sent back by parents who expect them to carry on where they left off.
    There is a shortage of sports equipment
    There are no properly prepared games areas on the site
    Many children do not eat anything at mid-day; by late afternoon they are too hungry to concentrate
    Many children arrive late (and sometimes teachers too)
    The absence rate among teachers needs to be reduced
    Too many children do not progress from Mata to secondary education
    Many classrooms are in need of refurbishment
    Parents do not show support for the school by coming to meetings
    Yields from the school gardens could be improved with more investment
    There is a shortage of furniture
    Children who are HIV positive have inadequate provision to meet their special needs (N.B. HIV rate in primary school children is around 5%)
    Books are being stolen from classrooms and sold in local markets by desperately poor families
    Crops are being stolen from the school’s fields by local destitute villagers
    There is not enough money to pay for adequate security guards
    The school is not fenced for security

    Anyone fancy a headship in Muhanga?

No comments: