Healthy Learning National Teachers and SMC’s Workshop a Success
For the first time since the inception of the Healthy Learning programme, the Ministry of Education (MOE), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and VVOB organized a national workshop. This took place at Brackenhurst Conference Centre in Limuru from 19 to 22 September 2010. The event brought together 106 participants including District Education Officers, teachers and parents (School Management Committee Members) from all 30 schools currently implementing the programme in 8 districts. The workshop aimed at strengthening the capacity of the programme teams at the schools for better implementation of the programme.
Facilitators were therefore drawn from the MOE, ICRAF, VVOB as well as from other ministries (Agriculture and Public Health & Sanitation), from institutions of higher learning such as the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT). Other facilitators came from Non Governmental Organisations such as Netherlands Development Cooperation (SNV), who facilitated an interactive session on school improvement planning for enhanced community involvement and sustainability. SNV are active in several Healthy Learning districts and collaborate with the Ministry of Education.
The training sessions
To manage the big group, new and creative methods were successfully used to encourage full concentration and participation by all. Plenary sessions were kept to a minimum with participants attending smaller workshops on different topics running concurrently. School exhibitions in different rooms, mobile baraza sessions and guided nature walks were other interesting learning activities undertaken by participants that stimulated learning. The timekeeping bell, moving from room to room and the participatory nature of the sessions kept participants alert throughout the period.
The training started with the usual introductions and norms in plenary. An overview of the programme at national and district level by Mr Nur Guleid, the School Health, Nutrition and Meals team leader at the MoE, set the pace for the rest of the workshop. Soon after that, participants spread to other rooms for small group sessions. Some sessions were scheduled twice, so that they would not miss out on any valuable information. A wide variety of topics ranging from the National School Health Policy and guidelines, AMREF personal hygiene and sanitation education, dissemination of Healthy Learning best practices, how to use magazines for learning, management and leadership best practices, minute writing and record keeping among others, were facilitated. Some of the facilitators were teachers and officers from the district level implementing the programme. They shared their experiences in the implementation of the Healthy Learning programme in their schools, making the sessions practical and relevant to all participants.
Although the schedule was tight, tea breaks and delicious meals left the people energized and ready to interact, whether it was with a senior officer on important matters or just to share a light moment. A case in point was a lively debate on the most prestigious animal projects, between two teachers late at night in front of the fire place or the genuine interest of men staring at the root of the African stinging nettle, a natural treatment for enlarged prostrate.
Best Poster Exhibition Awarded
The Healthy Learning Schools were tasked with the activity of taking photographs on their school projects and preparing a poster exhibition during the workshop. The schools were judged according to the design of their poster, clarity of activities, involvement of the pupils and community, knowledge transfer to the pupils and the community, spelling and grammar.
Primary Boys Boarding School from Kajiado Central District scooped the first prize, winning themselves a one night visit to Elsamere Field Study Centre in Naivasha, for upto 54 pupils and 8 teachers. Second prize was allocated to Mitaboni Primary School from Kathiani District who won an assortment of sports equipments for their pupils. Nturumeti Primary school from Narok North district won the third Prize which entails a two year membership for Wildlife Clubs of Kenya for the school and for 20 pupils, as well as free entry into parks, and subscription to receive Komba magazines for 2 years.
3 year anniversary celebration…
The highlight of the workshop was the celebration of 3 years since the onset of the Healthy Learning Programme in Kenya. Participants were treated to cake as they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Healthy Learning.