The run up to exams

It’s the final month before the students in Standard VI take their exams. We’re very lucky to have 2 hardworking volunteers in Zanzibar supporting Gasica, Mohammed, Sadiq and Hamis. Mushtaq, originally born in Zanzibar but now a Welshman,  brings his experience of being a Maths tutor as well as having a TEFL qualification.  His first few days in Zanzibar were spent working out what level the students are at and analyzing the syllabus to see where they need most help. The teachers have asked us to help all 110 students in Standard VI, in addition to the 35 that we have been helping in Safari English Club. We have said that to pass exams requires long-term effort, which is what we are doing with students who come daily to our extra English classes throughout the year and that sadly extra cramming at this point in the academic year is pointless.  However, it’s hard to say no and we are working with the local teachers to help with revision classes.

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I thought you might be interested to read what Mushtaq has also been doing in his spare time.  This is an extract from his email: I am quite enjoying the experience and it has been fun so far. I have been walking and cycling around all my odd haunts and it's gratifying to know how much I remember and frustrating sometimes not to remember certain places - actually, it's not the places I don't remember but their names!! I was always bad at names!! I even went to my last secondary school, Lumumba College (or King George School). Had long chats with students there and the head master. I was a bit sad to see the condition of the school and I talked to the head master about that. He said he doesn't have the money and he asked me to do him a favour by talking to the Education Minister. He gave me the minister's name and the phone number so I am going to ring her tomorrow. I haven't got any hope of anything coming out of that but, I thought, there is no harm in trying!! It used to the best secondary school during my days and apparently, talking to the students, it still is.

Today, I went to see my primary school. It was very pleasing to see that it has been kept, and turned into, even better state than it was in my days. Talked to the students there as well and they were talking highly of the school. Now it is secondary school with Forms 5 and 6 as well.

Other news:

Sadiq and Mohammed recently got married. Hope you enjoy the photo of them celebrating with Rob in traditional dress. Rob has also started his degree in Development studies and Swahili at SOAS in London.

Megan and Sadiq realized that they share their birthday! Here’s a recent post from Megan: Teaching Maths here at Unguja Ukku is an emotional rollercoaster. 😂 At the beginning utter despair, they don't understand the topic at all let alone enough for us to just revise it quickly. BUT once they understand and start getting the questions I think I'm more ecstatic than the children 🙈 I actually jump for joy 😂