I Believe I’m Another Kind of Teacher – Beatrice Mwakabana
Beatrice Mwakabana was one of the 26 student teachers under the Waterloo Foundation sponsorship at DAPP Amalika Teachers Training College in Thyolo district. She did her teaching practice at Chinthebe Primary schools in Thunga zone, Thyolo district.
The Waterloo Foundation sponsored 26 student teachers at DAPP Amalika Teachers Training College with an aim of promoting girl child education. During their course of training the student teachers, 16 females and 10 males, were expected to facilitate and carry out activities that will encourage the girl child to remain in school.
“We were oriented about the activities to be accomplished during our teaching practices. The activities included rehabilitation of toilets and construction of change rooms in 11 primary schools where the student teachers were carrying out their teaching practices, mounting of hand washing facilities and play grounds in schools,” narrated Beatrice.
The student teachers under Waterloo were mobilizing communities to send girls to school through open days which brought together the parents, youth, school going children and local leaders. The meetings also called on the community to embrace the establishing of vegetable gardens in the school as one way of imparting farming skills in the learners which they can as well practice in their homes and nutrition improvement.
“Having stayed at the college for two years, I believed that I acquired the necessary skills to mobilize community people to work together in order to improve the environment for girls especially in hygiene and sanitation.”
The most seemingly difficult thing to do was engaging parents to change their attitudes towards the education of the girl child. We were challenged to change the mindset of parents to start talking positively about girl child education,” she explained.
Nonetheless, Beatrice said it was a bonus that she conducted her teaching practices at a school that is development oriented. The head teacher, teachers, Mother Groups, Primary Teacher Association (PTA) and School Management Committee (SMC) were supportive and willing to carry out the Waterloo activities which improved the school environment and made it more conducive for female learners.
She said one of her achievements was seeing 12 learners who dropped out returning to school. She said this made her believe that she indeed is Another Kind of a Teacher.