Okayama University


African Educators Teaching Classes at Affiliated Primary School

September 05, 2013

Twelve JICA trainees involved in education in Africa participating in a course at Okayama University to improve the quality of elementary math and science education in that continent taught practical classes in those subjects at the Faculty of Education's affiliated primary school.

The African teachers taught sixth graders who were learning about fractions, combustion and photosynthesis. They introduced games that African children love into parts of the lesson and developed learner-centered lessons which made the participants think about the point of what they were learning.

The children, taught in English through an interpreter, beamed with delight at this class so different from their ordinary ones, saying that it was easy to follow even though they didn't understand the language, and that the positive response made them more motivated.

The educators, used to class styles in Africa which usually focus on an one-way cramming style of teaching to the pupils, have spent around two months observing classes at the primary school, learning and analyzing the teachers' method of asking questions and running the lessons. Based on their instruction from the university's professors, they revised their lesson plans made before coming to Japan to teach their practical lessons.

They were amazed at the readiness with which the school pupils gave their opinion in class. Ms. Carla Antonia de Carvalho Duarte Grelo, a primary school teacher from Angola, has changed her attitude toward teaching through this course, stating that she hopes to tell other teachers in her country of the skills she has learned and to put to use the fruits of her study here in her classes.