Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Simple Gifts

Previously we asked the teachers to come up with some lessons they could teach in class after we have left. Unfortunately, something got lost in translation or they didn't care much to do so, but they came with nothing prepared. Our goal today was to exploit the differences between Western education and African education. My goal was not to change the foundation of their educational system, but rather to make sure these laptops are being used to the greatest advantage.

I have noticed a stark diffrence in the metods of education in Africa (Rwanda, Sao Tome) and America. Teachers and students ask questions of each other with the hopes of either engaging in a debate about the best answer to questions or to find a definitative answer. Here teachers ask nothing more of the students than to recite the answers they have been given previously. This method works when technology is not present, but with the enormus capabilities of the world wide web and the amount of information available a transformation in education needs to take place...even if its as simple as having children answer simple questions or do basic research.

The rest of the day we spent lounging around our house. Chika was appointed Minister of External Affairs so he went to the UN compound to request a meeting with UNICEF to discuss projects on the island that we could participate in. We are waiting on a response.

Chika, Mike, and I went to get haircuts and met Judy and Danielle at the fish market. They were there talking to a woman named Arlene who tried to feed us all the alochol she had. Palm wine, vodka, and Rosema (the national beer). It was closing time at the market, but the people stay there, clean and prepare for the next days work. It smelled there, but I had the opportunity to speak French with a drunk man.

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