“I feel happy that we now have this school,” Celestiano says. “Children no longer have to travel far to learn.”
Nearby the school is a small garden that grows local fruit and vegetables, including spinach, squash, eggplant, water spinach and papaya. ChildFund and its local parents supported parents, teachers, children and other members of the community to establish the garden, which is helping to ensure that students – many whose families struggle financially – have access to at least one nutritious meal a day.
As part of the education project, ChildFund supported Nanju’s community to form and train a school management committee. ChildFund also worked with the Ministry of Education’s National Institute for Training of Teachers and Education Professionals (INFORDEPE) to train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, to help them develop engaging lessons and activities for their students.
Nanju’s teacher, Antonieta, had limited teaching experience and training before starting at the new early education centre. “As part of ChildFund’s training, I have learnt how to plan for lessons, how to develop children’s abilities in the classroom, and understand more about inclusion and working with children with disabilities,” she says.
Antonieta says proper preschool education is important to help build children’s confidence, and ensure they have the basic literacy and numeracy skills needed to start primary school.
Nanju loves to write and play soccer with his friends. When he grows up, he wants to be a mathematics teacher. Nanju’s father Celestiano left school in Grade 6, but he wants a better future for his son.
Education, says Celestiano, is important because it opens up opportunities and can help break the cycle of poverty. “I want Nanju to finish school – he is our hope.”