One-on-one instruction, or mentoring, is one of the oldest forms of teaching. Our parents, guardians and close relatives such as grandparents are our earliest mentors. Later, we may be mentored by our teachers while at school, positive adults from the communities where we grow up, and/or our peers.
Accordingly, ACFODE designed a programme that offers guidance, support and encouragement aimed at developing the capability and character of primary pupil leaders from 6 rural schools in Apac and Dokolo districts.
It is against this background that a mentoring retreat focused on increasing confidence and ambition of the pupils to remain focused in their long-term education was organised. In achieving this mandate, the primary pupil leaders (48) together with their respective senior women and senior men teachers (12) participated in a mentoring retreat in Lira district.
Co-curricular activities are equally helpful in breaking the monotony of class room learning. In this picture we see the pupils, teachers and ACFODE staff involved in a football match.
As a means to discovering one’s life purpose, the pupils were taken through a self-discovery exercise where each of them identified their unique strengths, talents, gifts and passions, in forming the basis for the mentoring structure that the pupils will use to teach and inspire their peers when they return to their schools. As a result, the boys and girls identified and capitalized on their strengths through which they engaged a dialogue brainstorming on how to work together in harnessing their strengths to formulate and promote positive social cultural practices that can transform their communities. The pupils together with their teachers and ACFODE staff participated in a practical learning experience which involved a football match (Apac verses Dokolo). After the match, the teams confirmed a discovery of strengths, capabilities and potential that they were not aware of.
Rhoda Akello, a pupil leader from Angai Primary School shares her passion and talent, during the retreat.
In addition, the pupils, away from their teachers were engaged in an experience sharing and learning in which they presented challenges they face, which affect their performance and deter them from completing school.
The teachers who we also referred to as influencers, innovators and implementers in the pupils’ education pathway, were engaged in a deep, reflective and highly interactive experience that took them on an inner journey of understanding their role as change makers, to create safe environments in their schools that inspire their pupils to grow, learn and excel academically. The teachers as a result were tasked to design unique innovations that they would apply in addressing the challenges their pupils face while at school.
” When i am in my menstruation period, i don’t go to school because my mother cannot buy for me pads.” This was one of the challenges the girls presented during their private group discussion.
On the whole the training was impactful and transformative in the sense that it challenged and opened the eyes of participants to a perspective about life that brings personal focus, clarity and direction. This conclusion is based on feedback from one on one informal interaction with participants.