Sarah in class, learning her numbers with pieces of paper as teaching aid
Sarah Gwom, a 7-year old Primary 2 pupil at Chori School in Kauru LGEA, in Kaduna State says: “I now attend school regularly and I’m punctual at school because I always look forward to seeing my teacher use broomsticks, stones and empty cartons and cans to teach me. I now know how to do my maths at home and help my mother calculate change in her trade, I am really excited.”
Before now Sarah says she dreaded going to school – she preferred to help her mother either do some home chores or sell her groundnuts and kolanuts. Even then, when it came to calculating the sales she and her mother very often didn’t get it right.
So what has changed? Sarah says: “Now I can help myself and my mother to do these small calculations. Not only did I not like school because of calculation, but because of my teacher also, I used to think she doesn’t like me as she flogs me at any mistake, but now she takes her time to listen, teach and correct me, she is more friendly now, so I like to come to school.”
Sarah is not the only child from Chori School to see change - about 20 other children from the same school have reported similar experiences. Sarah is also able to influence her friends in a positive way. She has used her experience to encourage other children: “As I now enjoy going to school, I have also encouraged my friend Asabe to come to school with five of my other friends. We are all in the same class 4. There are more girls now in my class. This is because my teacher now teaches me in a different way. I can express myself, and even when I’m wrong I am not shouted at but corrected. Things are really changing in this school and my village.”
With DFID funding and support, ESSPIN is working to improve the quality of basic education in Kaduna State. ESSPIN sees teacher professional development as a priority. The Ministry, too, sees the importance of reform and is leading the teacher quality process through the Teacher Education Quality Task Team (TEQTT) and by establishing the State School Improvement Team (SSIT). ESSPIN has played a lead role in developing the professional capacity of the SSIT to provide quality training to Head Teachers, LGEA School Services staff and teachers.