14th June 2018
To whom it may concern,
It's fair to say that we were both absolutely loved every second of being at Nsobe Community School. Our expectations of what could be achieved in such a rural and deprived area were admittedly fairly low so we were both astounded by the highly quality of education that the children receive in this school. Whilst we were there we had the opportunity to visit a few other local government schools and were rather shocked by the standards and conditions there by comparison. It was inconceivable to us that teacher absenteeism could be so prevalent, class sizes so large and standards of teaching so low.
It seems Nsobe have managed to completely buck this trend, largely due to the clear vision and drive of Fiona and Reagan. Both are utterly committed to and passionate about the success of the school. They have high expectations of their staff and pupils and are dedicated to installing a sense of pride and empowerment into their children, which seems to be desperately lacking in the region in general. We worked with children who had aspirations to be doctors, teachers, nurses and even pilots. Having visited the remote villages that they come from we have no doubt that it has been the influence of Nsobe's inspirational teachers that has dared them to dream so big. They live in extreme poverty and at the time we visited the children had only had one home-cooked meal the previous day. It's quite clear that for this community the only hope of breaking the cycle of poverty is through a decent education. The children love coming to school and attendance rates are therefore extremely high.
As teachers from Cardiff it was hard for us to imagine teaching for even a day without technology. As we implement the DCF and weave IT skills across the whole curriculum it's becoming more and more apparent how integral technology will be to the generations we're teaching now. We witnessed teachers at Nsobe who worked incredibly hard (both after school and on weekends) to make quality resources for their pupils by hand. It seemed almost a surreal concept to us as we rely so heavily on the wealth of excellent resources that are already available on the internet for us. Furthermore we often source schemes of work, individual lesson plans, advice on teaching particular groups of children and numerous other resources that help us to improve our own pedagogy. We believe that access to the internet would single-handedly make the biggest transformation to the teaching at Nsobe Trust Community School right now. The impact on learning would be incredible.
We also took over letters for the children from our children and then delivered back the replies. On both sides the children were absolutely over the moon and they are so excited about having a new friend in a different continent. Whilst we love the written form of letters, from a practical point of view this penpal project may be hard to sustain as the school is so remotely located and paper, envelopes and stamps all cost money. It would be far more practical for us to set up an email link. Our greatest wish would be to set up a Skype link. Our children are young and the children from Nsobe are grossly underexposed to other cultures so it would be beneficial for both to see each other live. We always strive to make our learning purposeful and real and at the moment I fear that for both sides their penpal friends are quite abstract concepts. We have shared photos but I think that they need to see the concrete evidence. Our current topic in school is "Big Wide World" so this would fit perfectly into us meeting our curriculum requirements.
We hope that our experience will help inform your decision. We are both fully supportive of the work that Nsobe Trust Community School are doing. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the school.
Laura Peters and Chloe Owen.
Thanks to endorsements of all who love the Nsobe school, we have managed to fundraise and install a full solar system as well as a fully equipped computer room
Nsobe Community School's vision:
Developing the Nation's human resources
Personal empowerment and opportunity.