This week of Feb 10, 2020 is exactly one month since the Early Childhood program began teaching students at the Mababu CCF Day Care Centre (DCC). Opening day was January 13, 2020. I worked closely with the headmaster and teachers to train, design and open the chekechea. Upon my return to the Chekechea for a quality and training check in, I was amazed to…
… see the smiling faces of the children and staff,
… hear some simple conversation from children in English,
… feel the presence of love, respect and collaboration among the children, staff members, parents and the community around
… taste what children and the staff eat and drink while at the centre.
The complete story of the Mababu Chekechea DCC in only one month is a success, but success is defined by different groups in different ways.
Parents’ are happy with the changes they see in their children. Mababu Chekechea children are becoming more confident compared to other children. One parent commented, “in just one month, my child is confident enough to challenge his siblings who are in secondary school … especially when it comes to the use of English words.” (translated from Kiswahili).
The CCF leaders are also very proud of the school. People in the village, including members of CCF, acknowledge the presence of the school in the village. Some villagers were thinking that the project will be a life time reverie (dream), but now when they see the school and the children have started to learn they are happy and supportive of the project. Mababu CCF chairwoman, Mama Mpoki added, “The village community sees the beautiful chekechea and understands some children (orphans) attend for free. Our neighbors now know our true dedication is to Mababu children. As CCF, the members are really happy to see that their dreams have come to be true. The community has received the school very well.” (Translated from Kiswahili)
The teachers are really making learning happen in an entertaining way. While initial separation from home can be hard for preschoolers, the number of children who cry while at school is decreasing everyday and teachers and students are happy.
The school attracts people from outside Mababu to come and learn what early childhood education (ECE) should look like – the building design and the teaching methods are areas to share. With the support of the Kyela District Social Welfare Officer, Mababu hosted a team of visitors who traveled a good distance from Kyela Town to Mababu to learn about Early Childhood Education. Mababu hopes to host more visitors in the future to share the wondrous school.
I know that in time the Mababu CCF Chekechea will be the source of the transformation of early childhood education in the district … or even throughout the country.