Day 8: Building PLCs with Aga Khan University
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
I feel like I'm still processing our visit with the masters students in education at Aga Khan University. The day was filled with amazing, intense, and heartbreaking conversations about education in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
We began the day sitting in on a regular class that the masters students take. The organizers at the university made sure we were spread out so that both African and Canadian students got the opportunity to experience different perspectives on education. After the class was finished introductions were made all around and we learned a little bit about the masters program. Then, we were given time to mingle and learn from each other about similarities and differences in education within our countries. As the only secondary physics and math teacher,by the end of the discussion period I had collected quite the crew of physics and math teachers! (See picture above). It was excellent finally chat with my people! I was surprised (although why should I have been surprised) to hear that students in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are also afraid of STEM subjects here. Additionally, they also face gender inequality challenges in STEM like we do in Canada, although the issue is worse here. We discussed ways of demystifying math for students by bringing real world examples into the classroom. To tackle the gender issue we discussed positive role models. Many of my math and physics colleagues from the university expressed their desire for me to visit their schools so I could inspire their female students.....what an honour that would be! I wish I could have.
After our great discussions we went for a delicious lunch, followed by excellent 1 Million Teachers and Queen's University presentations given by Hakeem Subar and Dr. Jane Chin. The floor was opened for a large discussion and question period where various masters students asked insightful questions. The day finished with tea and a more relaxed conversation among participants.
The day was, at times, overwhelming. But overall, many of us felt that this experience was the best we have had so far at getting a realistic overview of the state of education in East Africa, and we felt so honoured to meet the AKU masters students and faculty. Thank you for having us!