Training Teachers in Zanzibar

Hi, I’m Mariella and one of my roles at Sazani is Education Advisor for our projects. Our current education project is called ABC for Quality Teaching and Learning and we have just finished a six-week teacher training course with our second cohort of 51 secondary teachers and headteachers on the islands of Unguja and Pemba, Zanzibar.

When I meet the teachers on day one they look bemused, perhaps concerned about what they have let themselves in for and felt out of their comfort zone – there’s no sitting in rows, copying from the board or silent participants in our training! As we progress through the six weeks, there’s a real transformation in our teachers as they participate in activities, communicate in diverse ways and learn to work with their colleagues to improve their pedagogical skills. Part of the training involves learning about the concept of Lesson Study, as well as trialling and implementing it in their schools. Lesson Study originated in Japan and is now used widely around the world to ensure teachers collaborate in planning, teaching and evaluating lessons together. The main difference being is that the focus all the time is on the students, what they are learning, how they are learning and what progress they are making. This is a significant step change in practice for our participants.

I feel very humbled that I am trusted, alongside my colleagues to work with such hardworking teachers and headteachers, who not only give up their weekends for six weeks, travel long distances to join us but undertake to cascade their knowledge and train and mentor colleagues in their own schools for a further two years in their own time. The enthusiasm of the teacher for the project is quite overwhelming and would imply that a lasting and sustainable change has already been made to the quality of teaching and learning even in such a short time.

We are busy at the moment evaluating the successes of the project and measuring how students’ have improved and are looking forward to our first set of results after the first year of the project. It’s hard to measure some of the change that has come about due to the project but comments like these from our teachers, reminds us why we do what we do;

“ABC has changed my attitude to my profession. Before, I only asked pupils who raised hands. Now I pick students and can see improved confidence. I feel that I have woken up and awakened myself. From the first to last lesson every day I was at the front of the class – now I am walking around class and feeling more energy. Now I know how to start a lesson by warming up and I see how happy my students have become.”

Mariella first came to Tanzania in 2002 to work as a teacher for VSO in the Lindi district of Tanzania, before moving to Mtwara to take up a post at Mtwara Teachers’ College. After returning to the UK and teaching in schools in London, she now works for Sazani and splits her time between West Wales and Zanzibar. She has worked with lots of teachers in different capacities and now has the pleasure of working with our ABC project participants.

The Final Cut!

The CASA Media project has been training young people in Carmarthenshire, Wales and Zanzibar, Tanzania to use their video skills to produce a series of short films about climate change and sustainable development. Thirteen young people in Zanzibar and West Wales have been participating in the CASA Media project over the last year. You can now see their final work on our youtube channel*.

The project is part of a twining with Keys Media, an organisation in Zanzibar set up by young Zanzibari’s to train their peer group in the art of film making and digital communication, and Broadside, . Young people from both countries were able to learn from one another and share ideas, as well as evaluate each other’s films.

Mariella Scott of Sazani Associates said:

“The cultural exchanges and learning between the students in Wales and Zanzibar have been great to see, they have taken a similar journey to make their films which highlight their passion to tackle climate change.”

Monty Radford, one of the young people who took part in the workshops, said:

“This project has taught me lots about Global warming and I had the opportunity to learn how to storyboard and make my own film. The new skills I have gained will help me immensely in the future.”

The project was funded by Hub Cymru Africa who are supported by the Welsh Government.

Beth Kidd, Grants and Development Support Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said:

“The kind of work being undertaken by Sazani Associates is contributing to Wales being a globally aware and responsible nation. By having a better understanding of the challenges climate change is presenting globally (in Wales, Zanzibar and beyond), these young people are trying to creatively influence people in their communities to take action.

The films were made in collaboration with Broadside; a Carmarthenshire based film company dedicated to getting youths interested in media.

The films are suitable for young people and adults who are interested in the perspectives of the participants and their views on Climate Change and Sustainability. Please note, the young people from Zanzibar have been producing their films in Swahili and English and there are some spelling and grammatical errors when they have been working in their second or third language of English. There are also a few camera wobbles and subtitle issues which add to the authenticity of the product but as the young people point out, this doesn’t detract from their message, that climate change is something that must be addressed.

Don’t forget the CASA Media films will be showcased at the Small World Theatre in Cardigan, Wales on the 25th March! Check out the facebook event for more details.

*One of the films (Affects of Deforestation by Yusuf) shows men fighting whilst holding axes and machetes, images of dead animals and dead humans and could be upsetting for younger KS2 pupils. The clip contains graphic images.

Showcase: Young People’s Film Making Project

Wales One World Film Festival and CASA Media present this Young People’s Film Making Project. We will be showcasing three inspiring short films made with young people in West Wales and Zanzibar; funded by Hub Cymru Africa and the Welsh Government. Children from both countries participated in climate change and sustainability workshops as well as film making sessions. Join us on March 25th 2017 at the Small World Theatre in Ceredigion to follow their journeys as they interpret their understanding through digital film.

View the Facebook event for more.