I am pleased to share some notes from another parents meeting recently conducted, this time at Shaurimoyo Primary School in Majengo Ward, Moshi Municipality, Kilimanjaro Region.
As of this date, all parents meetings in all 11 public primary schools across 10 wards in which Toa has a presence have been completed.
I probably won’t share all the reports as they will start to get redundant, but I thought this one was an important one to post because Ema conducted it without Augustino and wrote the report himself.
It’s also noteworthy because of the headmaster, Mr. Mashauri’s role as well as the items discussed in the Q&A session. Please read below and enjoy the images!
SHAURIMOYO PRIMARY SCHOOL – PARENTS MEETING – 5TH FEBRUARY 2020
PARTICIPANTS: Standard One parents, H/Master Mwl. Mashauri, Standard One teacher, Toa Nafasi staff (Emmanuel Mnubi, Hyasinta Macha, Dorin Mongi, Glory Chacky, Navoneiwa Stanley, and Upendosia Peter)
NUMBER OF PARENTS: 54
TIME: 10:00 – 11:10am
FACILITATOR: Emmanuel Mnubi
Mr. Mashauri opened the meeting by welcoming the parents and asked them to be at ease because there will be no call for contributions in this meeting, and that they should be free to ask anything because no one knows the project better than us (Team Toa). Then, he introduced us and talked about the project like a pro. He understands almost everything concerning the project – in fact, I was amazed by his understanding of it from the speech he made. My fear was, what if one of our own fails to explain the way he did as he set a very high standard to us all, but the tutors did great work and did not fall short.
I introduced myself and the team both on the ground and in the States, and gave a brief history of the project from the beginning to the last expansion. I told the parents about how we go on with the project in a general way and who the beneficiaries are. Then, I left some holes to be filled in by the tutors, although most was already said by Mr. Mashauri so I was only building on what he said. I also talked about the partnerships, the hospitals, and other organizations like BCC and Kipepeo.
Hyasinta used the same content as in other meetings and talked about the beneficiaries in depth and the whole process of identifying a child from the very beginning when he or she enters into school up to when he or she becomes a Toa kid and everything afterward. She talked of the observation process, testing, parents’ interviews, why every process takes place and when. Hyasinta also elaborated about the reasons why a child is taken to the hospital and how the hospital process takes place and some challenges that she faced from parents in previous years. She then asked for parents’ collaboration.
I then insisted on this collaboration and the importance of it and also the outcomes of not participating in your child’s affairs, especially in school. I told them by not collaborating and participating in helping your child, you are creating a bomb that will surely explode someday and you will want to blame it on teachers while it was you who created it by not engaging.
The head tutor for Toa at Shaurimoyo is Dorin Mongi and she spoke about how the tutors go about with the children as they are the ones who help the kids at Shaurimoyo. So she explained in a sharing manner the details of how they receive a child up to how a child is being helped and when a child graduates from Toa. She and Glory talked of the style of teaching and reinforcement, games and sports, and how the Toa class is ideal. While the two were talking, Upendosia who is newer to Toa was welcoming parents as they kept coming up to the very end.
As we approached the end of the meeting and before allowing the parents to ask any questions, I posed a question to them that I have been posing at every parents meeting to capture their understanding and be sure that the meeting was not misunderstood: “Who can tell me the two reasons why we have called this meeting today?” The parents answered: 1.) To know the academic improvement of our kids and 2.) To help our kids academically.
I then told them that they are all correct, and gave them an even more correct answer, something I needed them to leave with: “We have called you here for two reasons: 1.) To ask for your permission to be with your kids in their classes and 2.) To ask for your collaboration and active participation in the matters concerning your child. We need you to understand your position in your child’s life as a parent and view us only as helpers and not otherwise.”
Then we allowed questions from the parents. One parent asked why we started with Standard One and not kindergarten and I said that we are helping kids who struggle with reading, writing, and numeracy and the curriculum for that starts in Standard One, and not kindergarten. Another parent asked if the project was sustainable or if it would just vanish without notice. I answered that the project started back in 2013 with only one school and has since expanded to 10 other schools, so this growth means there is a need and as long as there is need for the project, it remains sustainable. I also said that the cooperation from you, the parents, is very essential to ensure such sustainability.
Then the Standard One teacher addressed the parents once again, stressing the needs of their collaboration and active participation in their children’s affairs, and to make sure that the kids have everything they need. She reminded them that the stationeries that Toa provides are for Toa lessons and they still need to buy the kids other stationeries for their regular lessons.
The participation was great and everyone was engaged.
Parents listening attentively
Hyasinta shows the assessment booklet
Dorin discusses the importance of play-based learning
Glory provides support
The Standard One teacher at Shaurimoyo reinforces the need for parental cooperation
The Toa Nafasi Project gives these mamas a reason to smile!