60 grandmothers and 100 teachers will be trained to promote values education in schools. Passing on positive cultural values and traditions is important to families, but schools rarely teach them. Grandmothers, guardians of tradition, are a resource for families but also for schools. Grandmother-Teacher Workshops strengthen collaboration between them to teach children both "universal" knowledge and "traditional" values to help them thrive in a challenging world.
Families are very concerned about the loss of positive cultural identity and values, like respect for elders, solidarity and the breakdown in communication between generations. Values that communities cherish are not taught in schools and for that reason some families hesitate to send their kids to school. Teaching positive cultural values in schools is a national priority, but few schools put this priority into practice. Schools ignore a valuable resource for education - the grandmothers.
GMP's innovative strategy promotes teaching of positive cultural values in schools using empowered grandmothers as "teaching assistants". GMP developed 5 reading books on cultural values and a teachers' guide. The project reflects Ministry of Education priorities for Values Education. GMP was awarded an African Union prize for Innovation in Education (2019). Teaching cultural values and traditional knowledge in schools has increased school attendance and student performance.
The project promotes permanent change in primary school curriculum making them more culturally-relevant to communities by: introducing culturally appropriate teaching materials; and strengthening school-community ties by recognizing and empowering grandmothers to play a teaching role in schools. Prospects for sustained impact are positive due to strong support from both local and national level education officials.