Nov 16, 2020

JIFUNDISHE and COVID-19 RESPONSE

On March 18th, 2020 our facility closed as per government instruction due to the COVID-19 outbreak and most of our students were sent back home until further notice. At that point, all we were able to do was provide them with reading materials as best we could. We were able to open the library every now and then to enable them to exchange books while ensuring their safety. We also educated them on the necessary precautions and prevention measures against COVID-19.

Some of the impacts that directly faced our projects and beneficiaries are as follows:

i. Interruption to learning for about three months due to school closure and the ban on large gatherings in order to prevent the spread

ii. Disruption in our ability to perform individual assessments

iii. Cancellation of all inter-school/inter-organization events and exams for students and the community

iv. Mental instability and stress led many students to feel hopeless about their futures, as students did not know how long they were going to be home, or when their studies would resume

V. Students and staff feared for the safety of themselves, their friends and their families.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected all our operations at Jifundishe, and to this day most of the projects are still not up to speed. We are hopeful that we will be able to cope with the changes and still be able to uphold our mission and vision as an organization.

During the pandemic, our organization responded to COVID-19 to the best of our abilities. We donated masks, hand-washing buckets, and sanitizer to the community, and educated everyone we could on the prevention of the spread. We did our best to keep them healthy, also ensuring they held a healthy diet.

After opening in July 2020, we offered counselling, continued to educate everyone on the spread and continued to use protective and preventative measures in all aspects of our establishment.

It came as a shock to both our students and staff that once we were able to reopen, the government was determined to continue business as usual and expected students to be immediately back on track with curriculum, routines and exams. This was especially difficult for our Advanced-level students, as after three months without classes, they were expected to complete their exams early that month. We did our best to get students back on track by opening the library for half-days to provide books, guidance and counselling. Everyone’s efforts paid off as their exam results for 2020 were outstanding.

Our closure made it impossible for us to provide our normal services to the community during that difficult time. Since opening, we have done our best, not only to provide our usual services and support to our students and community but also to ensure their safety and share our knowledge on the prevention of COVID19. This presents a new challenge; however, we continue to adapt and apply this knowledge to our daily lives in order to adopt better ways of living.  

Jul 23, 2020

Moving Forward in Tough Times

Meet Ooko, He was born In 1998 in Mara region. He is an Independent study beneficiary currently in Advance level expected to sit for his final examination soon. His academic dream came to life in 2017 when he found out about Jifundishe from his step brother who was a student at the University of Arusha. In 2018 he was officially selected to join the Independent study program as an Ordinary level student among 45 students Ooko was one of them. He was happy to receive Jifundishe Free Library services such as books, studying space, and learning support from our volunteer teachers.

He sat for his O’level examination and successfully passed with good grades that enabled him to join advance level in 2019, “Still Jifundishe did not stop supporting me says, Ooko”. 

Ooko said,” At the beginning of 2020 the world faced a great pandemic which will never be forgotten in mankind history, the CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC. This disease affected all aspect of my life, education sector included. However, JFL did not stop its support to us during this difficult time of COVID-19. We were provided with books and other learning materials to use at home when all schools were closed including Jifundishe since the facility accumulates a number of students. Thus, JFL did not stop developing our academic status as we were to study at home”.

Upon the government instructions on the opening of advance level schools and universities Ooko was overwhelmed to return to Jifundishe in order to prepare for his final examination which will begin in June 2020 and complete on early July 2020. Jifundishe has its unique way of touching our lives and ensuring safety so the necessary precautions were taken providing protective equipment’s like masks, soaps, sanitizers and clean water to wash hands.

Through the support that Ooko has received from Jifundishe, he believes that he is going to pass his final exams and join university to accomplish his dream of becoming a Lawyer. He finishes with few words saying “God bless Jifundishe for making my dreams light again”.

Mar 30, 2020

Jifundishe has a New Partner!

In January 2020 Jifundishe got together with Teachers2Teachers Global volunteers who wanted to learn, share and explore possibilities for building a professional learning community between Teachers2Teachers Global and teachers in the Arusha Region. T2T global visiting team had an opportunity to explore the culture, wildlife and dynamics of the region in the first few days and then dive into learning more about the education set up and context of teachers in this region. While at Jifundishe the working week involved visiting schools, observing lessons, speaking with teachers and providing brief instances of feedback and sharing of ideas as to how teachers might add to their existing approaches to teaching. The remaining three days they delivered workshops, at the Jifundishe location, to a group of elementary private school teachers ranging from Grade 1 to 7 who are interested in gaining greater understanding and confidence in teaching techniques that can help students love math and ideas on to how to approach students with topics that are complicated such as geometry, algebra and fractions.

Jifundishe invited teachers from the neighboring schools. A total of nineteen (19) mathematics teachers from eight schools in Arumeru District attended the three days workshop thus it was a great privilege. The workshop target and aim were solving challenges like: 

  • How do teachers who don’t know the math/subject area support children to learn? 

  • How do you teach the child without the answer? 

  • A lot of teachers just teaching from text books

T2T and Jifundishe observations and comments saw the great need of the particular workshop since math subjects is a challenge to the majority of the students and the problem starts from the teacher’s mode of instruction in schools and other things like students are generally weak in math ,There is a shortage in math teachers, Government recruits the best teachers for permanent contracts for public schools, Generally, those teachers who are unable to get a government school contract will go to private schools since they couldn’t qualify or not competent enough to teach in the schools. The workshop covered the core mathematics topics and teaching technics such as Parameters vs. Areas, shapes with same parameter, surface area blocks, cube pattern, volume introduction, developing formulas and volume copy and lastly measurement discussions.

Thus, the workshop was a great success for Jifundishe and all the teachers that attended were happy to receive the unique teaching technics of math subject and general knowledge of dealing with math topics from the T2T Global volunteer teachers. The participants were each awarded with certificates of participation that will enable them to develop their careers in future.

Jifundishe believes that the workshop has been of great help to the teachers and their improvement in teaching mathematics is expected at 100% due to their full participation and feedback after every training session, their daily routine in schools and how they manage their challenges in math subject is going to be a great story to Jifundishe and Teachers2Teachers Global we are expecting more positive outcomes from the teachers and schools that participated in the workshops.

Generally, Jifundishe, an organization that supports the local community through technology and education, relies on support from volunteers to assist and develop our programs and spread a word about what we do best. 

 
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