Friday, May 23, 2014

Life after graduation

The saying ‘imiti ikula empanga’ translated as the young trees of today make a forest, has been the core drive in my participating in community service because I believe that when the young ones are educated then the future is in better hands and continuity of whatever positive foundation has been laid is guaranteed.

My community service role is to teach at Kalikiliki literacy project. It is a role or life of mixed emotions in the sense that opportunity and a challenge. I feel I have been awarded the opportunity to help shape or mold a child’s life and influence it as deemed fit and I am fully aware of how deadly or helpful the consequences of every action that I decide on. It is also a challenge because there has been a need to adjust from my comfort levels and be able to understand the kids because of the different backgrounds that they come from and also the different challenges that they face day in and day out. I also need to impact positive influence on the kids by leading by example on each one of them and be able to tolerate upbringings, personalities and mental capabilities.

The greatest impact that has made me feel that all the sweat I have been investing was not for nothing is the experience of seeing the children who practically knew little if not nothing are now able to read and write, the introverts are able to express their opinions and ideas freely. One scene I remember clearly is of one pupil I actually considered to be the slowest of learners in the class because every time I wrote an exercise on the board, she could only copy the work and not attempt to answer it but just bring the work for marking the way I presented it on the board and this was at the beginning of the term but by the time we were a couple of weeks into the term, she surprised the whole class with the answers she started giving in class in more than half the subjects that I teach them. She was able to define what a verb was and could even go as far as giving out examples of verbs to the surprise of the class and since then most of the kids have been encouraged to work hard because they now look at their friend as an example.

My attendance at my new found home away from home has being four times a week and adds up to sixteen days in a month and basically my day starts 11:30hrs when I arrive at the school and ends at 15:30hrs when I leave the school. I usually start with mathematics or English because these are the main or core subjects and I try to take advantage of the fact that their minds are fresh, high concentration levels and so that they are able to understand the work and the concepts in these subjects easily and so far the response has being favorable.

At the end of the term, most of the kids that I teach had opened up and we had become friends and they were free to take part in classroom activities but at the same time they understand that I am the teacher and they are the pupils and at the end of the term after they sat for their end of term, the kids that were able to contribute a K20 were taken out to the Lusaka Nation Museum with kids from the other classes that paid the same amount. We spent have the day looking into the history of our country there and other interesting items at the museum as you will see from the pictures below.
We are all looking forward to next term and can’t wait to continue working together.

Edson Tembo
KF 2013 Graduate