Ongwediva & Oshakati
On the second day of our trip up north we visited two schools in Ongwediva. The first school, Charles Anderson School, served kids from kindergarten to grade 7. The principal took us on a tour around the school and allowed us to step into some classrooms and meet the teachers. The school had blue and white buildings, which usually coordinate with the colors of the school uniforms. Unlike schools in Minnesota, the school did not have one building with a bunch of classrooms. The classrooms were held in many different buildings with sidewalks connecting them through the sandy campus. It was well shaded with trees and had plenty of students running around and playing during passing time. I think I can speak for the group when I say that we may have felt like celebrities walking around the school. All of the children were so excited to talk with us and learn about the US. Many of them had not seen white people in person before (most of our group is caucasion). We met with the teachers during their break time at 10:30am. During this time, the students are allowed to be unsupervised while they play outside. We had great discussion with the teachers about what their challenges and achievements are. They also had questions for us about how school run in the US. I am becoming a special education teacher and so I noticed that the teachers had a strong desire to reach every student in their classrooms - especially their slow learners or learners with disabilities.
The second school we visited was called Hashiyana School. The school's layout was similar to Charles Anderson and we met with the teachers for a brief period of time. All of us got to visit different classrooms in the school again. I visited the special education room that consisted of 3 learners - 2 of which had trouble speaking and the other had a vision impairment. The special education teacher had just started the Monday before we got there but she had such a warm personality and I could tell that the students were already learning so much from her.
We ate at a local restaurant for lunch - beef, chicken, rice, veggies served family style. Delicious! We have not had a bad meal here yet, the food is wonderful.
In the afternoon we had a conference with other teachers and University students at the University of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus. The conference was titles "Meeting the Learning Needs of All Learners." We were able to collaborate with the students and teachers and learned a lot about how they are professing in their educational values. I found that there was a strong desire in each teacher to learn how to reach every single in their classrooms. They were very eager to share with us and learn from what we had to offer, as we did of them. Each of the graduate students presented a mini lesson to a small group of teachers and students to give them an idea of how we teach in the US. We had dinner with everyone at the conference and got to sincerely enjoy each others' company.