Day 11: School-a-palooza!
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Yowza! We had an early start to the day because, as predicted, day 11 was a school-a-palooza (term coined by fellow Queen's teacher candidate, thanks Carolyn!). All 16 of us piled into a small (but awesomely airconditioned!) school bus and were chauffeured to our first school.
The first school we went to was a private boarding secondary school called College Ami des Enfants. The headmaster of the school is also the founder of the school. It was his dream and luckily he owned land to build a school...without land, you cannot build a school at all in Rwanda. We were given a tour of the school and boarding facilities. The chemistry and physics labs were exceptionally well equipped and the library was well stocked. They have a plot of land behind the school dedicated to growing produce for the 400+ boarding students and the kitchens were being converted from wood burning to gas. After our tour we met with the teachers where Hakeem and Jane introduced 1 Million Teachers. At this school I met my first female physics teacher! I think we were both so surprised to meet another female physicist that we passed the formalities of a handshake and went right in for a hug. That was a pretty special moment for me.
The second school we went to, Camp Kigali School, was an all levels public school with over 3400 students in total. The school teachers met up with us in their gym/chapel building and again, 1 Million Teachers was presented. As we waited for formalities to conclude and our bus to arrive, we spent time chatting with the students (high school drama is global people!) and taking pictures.
We loaded back up into the van and drove down the road to our third school of the day, Groupe Scolaire EPA St Michel. This all grades school is funded by both the government and Catholic church. When we arrived students came pouring out of every which corner of the campus....I'm not going to lie, I kind of felt like a celebrity! We walked around part of the school and students came pouring out of classroom doors and hanging out of Windows to get a high five or fist bump and a picture with us. They danced and sang and were some of the most energetic, happy children I have seen in a long while! After that excitement we met with the school teachers and discussed 1 Million Teachers with this group.
Back in the bus we piled again to head to our 4th and final stop - Lycee de Kigali. This school is a public secondary boarding school with the highest ranking student performance in the country. We met up with Hakeem (he left earlier on in the day to visit another couple of schools) and the school's teachers for the 1 Million Teachers introduction and a brief tour of the campus.
Absolutely beat, we piled into the bus once more for the quick ride back to our hostel. Visiting 4 schools in a day may not sound like much, but after today, we can all say it make for one full day! Despite being tiring, we all enjoyed meeting the students, teachers, and schools, and are looking to further visits in the upcoming week!