Local teachers connecting classrooms with Bo
In February 2019, three teachers from local primary schools, Maureen Greyson of All Saints, Leek Wootton, Louise Letchford of Emscote Infants, Warwick and Helen Newbold of St. Paul’s, Leamington took part in a Connecting Classrooms schools exchange programme, visiting and teaching in their linked schools in Bo. The team were accompanied by Paul Atkins from the OWL committee.
Although Maureen had considerable experience working in Africa, this was a first time for the other two. It was a challenging experience, working in class sizes of up to 100, in excessive heat and without any of the modern facilities that they are used to. However, this was offset by the welcome and support from their host schools and our long-established friends in Bo. The teachers also ran a series of workshops focusing on ‘Critical Thinking and Problem Solving’, one of the core skills being championed by the British Council who helped fund the trip.
Our theme for the project work was based around one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Climate Action and the workshop looked at ways in which plastic can be reduced and spreading this message to teachers and pupils in the schools in Bo. In addition, a field trip was organised involving two pupils and one teacher from each of the partner schools and they visited a variety of waste management and recycling sites in Bo.
They also managed to see something of the country, visiting a rural community that was the home to our, then chairman, Maada Fobay, where they were welcomed in a most overwhelming manner. For the teachers, this was a life enhancing experience that will have a profound effect on both their personal and professional lives.