Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back to School for Timothy Girls

This weekend we welcomed the students of Timothy Girls’ High School back for the  2012 school year.  They came from far and near, returning from their long Christmas holiday to complete their final year of high school. This class (Senior 6) is the group of pioneer girls who started last year with us in Senior 5.  Within the next two weeks we expect to receive the new Senior 5 students who will be registering at TGHS.  We have had many inquiries, as we have distributed many brochures and have advertised widely to attract prospective students.
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Until the Senior 4 government exam results are released at the end of January, students do not know if they qualify for Advance Level high school, so there is always a big rush to find schools in early February.  

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One of our students arriving on the back of a boda boda (motorbike taxi)
We worked hard to get the dorms, classrooms and dining hall ready after the departure of the 41 teachers who had just spent ten days here as part of our teacher training program.  A quick turn around!
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On Friday and Saturday the girls settled into their dorms and excitedly renewed acquaintances.
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This evening we had a small “welcome back” time in the dining hall with singing and snacks…and the girls then went to study and prepare for their BOTs (beginning of term exams) – yes, teachers are SERIOUS here!
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Please pray with us that this will be a great year at Timothy Girls’ High School !

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Teacher Training Module One Completed!

On January 25 we said good-bye to the 41 teachers who attended our first face-to-face session of our in-service teacher training course at the Timothy Centre.  This first module focused on biblical worldview and it was an intense and very engaging 10 days of training. We shared many helpful ideas in our discussions, presentations and group work.  The teachers were really keen to participate, and  worked very hard in class as we all were stretched to think more deeply about what we believe as Christian teachers and how it affects all we do with our students.
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Teachers did much of their study in cooperative group work using resources that we have collected over the past couple of years and presented their research findings to the rest of the class.  This is not a commonly used method in the schools here, but we encouraged them to use methods like these in their classrooms to provide richer learning experiences for their students.
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Eight of our teachers from Kibaale Community Schools are enrolled in this course and some hope to be able to help us as instructors once they have completed it in 2013.
The teachers completed several assignments during the course of the 10 days and have further assignments to work on during the course of the next two months.  These are designed to be as practical as possible and stimulate critical thinking about their lives and their teaching practice.
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Many of the teachers expressed their thanks to donors in Canada who have contributed to the development of this training course through financial donations for books and other resources.  They said that a new passion for teaching was ignited and that they see the great importance of teaching from a Christian perspective.  We can hardly wait to gather again in the April school holiday to continue with our next module (Philosophy of Christian Education).  Our field director, Ken Drisner, will take the lead in teaching this module.  We look forward to having other Canadian teachers join us to help with some of the teaching of other modules next year. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Small Things...Big Blessings

As we have been holding our teacher training course this past 10 days, we have seen so many things that have encouraged us and I will give more of an update soon once all the dust settles after the conclusion of module 1 tomorrow.  One thing that has been a big blessing to one of the teachers who is studying with us is that we were able to help provide him with a pair of reading glasses after he realized he had traveled without them.  Azaria is an older gentleman who found it impossible to do the readings and assignments without glasses...and it was not possible to travel all the way home to get them.  "Coincidentally" we had been given a bag of glasses from the lost and found at Pacific Academy while we were home in Canada over Christmas.  I fished through the bag and pulled out a pair that looked like reading glasses.  When Azaria tried them they worked great!  This was just a reminder to all of us how God cares (sometimes in strange ways) for the small details that are important to people.  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Celebrating our P7 Students!!

Our Kibaale primary teachers were thrilled yesterday when we received the results of our Primary 7 class’ government examination results.  This was the best performance we have ever had!  We have 53 students who passed their exams in the top two divisions (the government grades examination results into four “pass” divisions and one division that does not pass).  This means we will have a very large group of students that will be joining the secondary school in February.  Look out Kibaale Community Secondary School – here they come!  Well done to all of our teachers and P7 students!!  We are proud of you and give thanks to God.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Birth of our Teacher Training Course

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This is an exciting week at Timothy Centre, as we are launching our new in-service Christian teacher training course (Certificate in Christian Education)! After years of planning, we have developed a program for teachers who have been trained in the government colleges, but now want training in teaching from a Christian perspective. This 2 year course will be held at the Timothy Centre for 10 days each school holiday period (3 times per year).

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On Monday we began teaching our first module on Biblical Worldview and have 40 teachers (39 from many different schools in Uganda and one from Tanzania). They are all participating with much enthusiasm and are a pleasure to teach. We have had two full days of instruction so far and will continue until January 25. At that point, the teachers will return to their schools to start the first term of the school year and will work on assignments and projects that will help them to process what they have learned in the face-to-face sessions. We will continue to keep you posted on the developments in this program.

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