Monday, August 24, 2009
Lumpo, the Millennium Village, represents a very ambitious, long term project, to develop local leadership capabilities which will allow villagers to participate in the planning and administration of their own affairs.
I was impressed by the commitment of the people to create a school system from the ground up. Much of their energy is devoted to simply providing food and water for their families. There is no water systems, no electricity, no sanitation and the roads are in terrible shape. Water must be hand carried to the house and to the fields for irrigation. Yet, despite all of these obstacles, they have built two buildings which comprise the main school complex and plan on building two other buildings for the children who live too far to attend the main campus. In addition they have built a community center which will house a health clinic, community offices and a computer center.
The school program is geared for what the students need right now, which is basic math, reading and language instruction. They are not trying to create a Western style of schooling, providing all sorts of exotic programs and electives. The children are being taught what is necessary and needed.
Pen, pencils and paper are in short supply. The main equipment for teachers is a blackboard and chalk. The students took notes, recited the lesson or worked problems on the blackboard. There are no overhead projectors, no Power-Point presentations, no computers, no calculators. But despite the lack of tools, real education and learning were taking place.
Part 2 Coming Tomorrow.