Gambia gymles 1455 354

Mevr. Ndow schreef na haar bezoek aan Nederland een mooi verslag met daarin haar indrukken van de week. Lees het verslag hieronder: 

Visit to the Netherlands- 7th- 20th September 2018

Buganala, PRO8, Duhantou sponsored

“Travel isn’t always pretty… But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

This was what my journey to the Netherlands, did to me. It gave me more inspiration and more skills on how to train our teachers, facilitate the learning of our students and pupils, work with others to overcome our challenges. I learnt a lot and saw a lot but was also able to share my experiences, my skills and knowledge with the ones I visited

When I travelled to the Netherland on the 7th September 2018, I was expecting some excitement but what I got was more than I expected. My visit was full of fun, laughter and new knowledge and skills.

When I arrived in the Netherland, the first activity I attended was the flower parade. Just hearing flower parade, I first thought was people would come with different types and kinds of flower to show case what they have in their gardens. I was wrong when I went to see men, women and children working together to construct big birds higher than a story building, lavishly being decorated with beautiful flowers. This was real team and community work. When I look at the men and women, children and retired old men and women working together, I appreciated their community and team spirit and their sense of volunteerism.

The week of  Monday 10th 15th September was a busy but interesting week, shuttling from one school of PRO8 to the other (Dichterbij, Boomgaard, Octa, Het Rondeel), included in the list was Iselinge Hogeschool Teachers’ College, Isala  College and finally to Reinders Oisterwijk, ending the week with a visit to Kröller Muller Museum.
The visit to the schools not only gave me the opportunity to see beautiful structures, students and teachers but I was able to learn a lot. Learning a lot; from teaching methodology, to classroom management, to resource utilization, to keeping the environment neat and tidy. I was very impressed with the attitude of teachers towards work; lesson preparation, punctuality and regularity. I was very impressed with the fact that teachers in the morning before classes they all gather for a cup of tea while discussing teaching and learning. Surprisingly the word ‘late’ to school does not exist in the vocabulary of these teachers. Teachers were very supportive to their students/pupils but also allowed their students to learn by doing.  I realized that teachers allowed their students/pupils to do the thinking, working and learning from each other. Teachers only facilitated learning. There was also lot of learning through play. Students/ pupils were taught to plan on their own and plan their own learning. Pupils as young as five years were taught to be independent and to work on their own and work with a team. Another impression was that schools were able to operate independently once they were performing. School can choose to use the Dalton Approach, the Montessori approach or other approaches. All these are meant to help in the learning and development of the student/ pupil.

My visit gave me the opportunity to see and speak with students and pupils who do not know The Gambia but have been raising funds to support schools in The Gambia through Buganala Foundation (PRO8) and Dohantu Foundation. The visit also allowed me to make presentations about the Gambia to students and staff who might be interested in coming to the Gambia. This was great! I enjoyed it as many of those who attended it learnt a lot about the Gambia and its educational institutions.

The second week of my visit was In Amsterdam and Zwoll. In Zwolle, I visited the University of Windesheim and gave a presentation, and the presentation was very interesting and attended by many students and lecturers. Keeping to time and listening attentively and asking questions to know more about the presentation was what impressed me most during the visit. Sticking to time was what I found amazing. No one waits for anyone!! 

I also visited two Montessori schools: super and wonderful: Excellent teachers and students. School management was excellent. I need to learn about Montessori teaching approaches. The Montessori centre where Maria Montessori lived and worked was also another learning chapter during my visit. Talking of Montessori building, Montessori teaching and learning materials, Montessori lesson preparation and the list goes on. Really interesting!  Real multicultural and diversity! Different nationalities from all over the world (Students from different backgrounds)

The last educational visits were to, two technical colleges. This visit was fantastic, great, lots of information sharing, huge structures, and lots of students (yet things were moving on smoothly- importance of good teaching and learning systems). Again the lesson learnt, the youths are our asset, give them the skills and knowledge regardless of their challenges, backgrounds and differences. Technology drives the world, teach then and train them on how to use modern day technology and use technology in a positive way.

Finally to the cheese farm, where I was able to see cheese (sheep) making from the start to the end. I always thought that Cheese could only come from Cow milk. But surprise, this was from Sheep (very fat sheep with lots of milk)!!!

Thanks to Geert, Cees, Remko, Lucy, Hans, Marjolijn, Wilfried, Metsje, Jessica, Joke, Nic and Paul and Sabine (Bed and Breakfast).  To the head teachers of the different schools thank you. I enjoyed every bit of it !

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