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Re: [learningfromeachother] US Adults go back to school -

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  • Prince Obiri-Mainoo
    Thanks to Pam for sharing her vision. It brings back memories of when I was a rural school teacher myself. I started as a pupil teacher at a village in the
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 27, 2007
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      Thanks to Pam for sharing her vision. It brings back memories of when I was a rural school teacher myself. I started as a pupil teacher at a village in the Eastern Region of Ghana. A pupil teacher is a teacher without any formal teacher training but is appointed by the government to fill in the gap until a trained teacher comes in to take over. Later when I entered a teacher's college and graduated four years later as a trained teacher, I was again posted to teach in a rural area in the Ashanti Region. 
      As a trained or certificated teacher as we were also called at times, we were among the most respected, most educated and among the rich people in the community. Rich because we were paid every month as against the other members of the community who depended on their farm produce to get money for groceries and other needs. As a result of these attributes we were always called upon by the village chief (called "odikro") and community leaders to join in deliberations about the village's development efforts. When I got the opportunity to travel to the U.S., I remember driving to one of these villages with my wife to bid a teacher friend farewell.
      When I visited Ghana last January, I visited some of the villages and also the UEW-Kumasi campus, which is a satelite campus of the University of Education, Winneba dedicated to technology education. The village schools have changed a little bit but the rural teachers who are enrolled in the university's distance education program still have to converge on campus periodically to receive instructions and go back to their villages and towns for the next three to four months and converge again with their completed assignments. I have a plan to go back and help with that format of their distance learning program.
      A program like Pam is doing in Nigeria and later in Kenya would certainly improve the distance learning experience of students, most of whom teachers at the UEW-Kumasi. Thanks once again, Pam

      Pamela McLean <pam@...> wrote:

      I can't help with the general list, but I just want to let you know
      about the area of overlapping interest we seem to have, given your
      concerns to inform people about the everyday realities of life in Africa.

      I would like to share my vision with you, for how people in Africa will
      be able to share their "stories" i.e their expert first hand knowledge
      of the problems that they face - and their opinions of what solutions
      might (or might not) work, and why.

      This is the background:

      I am working, in a small way, with teachers in rural Nigeria (with plans
      for replication in Kenya in August) . We have an ICT training programme
      called "Teachers Talking" (TT). Teachers are community leaders and
      potential change agents in rural areas. It is said that "If you teach a
      teacher you teach the community". The teachers are well connected with
      their communities, and could act as intermediaries to collect any
      information that was required by people in USA or wherever.

      All that is needed is that the teachers can communicate with the USA or
      wherever via the Internet. To do that they need the technology to be
      available, and they need the skills and attitudes to use it.

      The TT programme is developing those skills and attitudes. The TT course
      has three elements. One is called TT-Online. During the TT-Online
      sessions participants experience going online specifically to interact
      with other people. This is so they get an insight into the
      community-of-purpose, and learning-from-each-other aspects of the
      Internet. TT-Online has included various ways of connecting including -
      yahoo groups, messaging, Skype, Elluminate, and Think.com.

      The idea of TT-Online is that it should continue after the short F2F
      element of TT is over. In theory it is possible for me, and others, to
      keep in touch with the participants after the course either through
      Internet cafes, or through monthly meetings of an "Action Group" at the
      TT course location. (The main stumbling block to maintaining a regular
      Internet information exchange with individuals or the Action Groups has,
      predictably, proved to be lack of money for transport and for online
      expenses. We tend to manage an annual e-meeting rather than a monthly one.)

      Many of the TT participants have never seen a computer before coming on
      the course - and until recently they did not have phones either.
      TT-Online offers new experiences of connecting and communicating which
      participants say they value highly. It is a foundation on which we could
      build for sharing "stories" rather than statistics.

      Chris I must confess that I am failing to keep up with everything I want
      to read and reply to at present - and I know that I will not be able to
      follow up properly the links you have given. But I am very excited and
      encouraged by what I read from you and hope we will find ways to help
      people to connect.

      christopher macrae wrote:
      > Last night 35 million american adults probably learnt more from
      > stories told by African children than they usually do from a year of
      > watching television. In global media terms, this was a tipping point.
      > As Bono may have said the worlds of American Gloss and African Child's
      > realities collided... never to be as they were
      > *American Idol gives back* over $30 million
      > and 35 million minds
      > Curlio.com - 12 hours ago
      > ''*American Idol*'': A very charitable episode
      > Entertainment Weekly
      > CarrieĀ’s Idol Package Available for Download
      > Country Weekly
      > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
      > --------- --------- --------- -
      > It is important, I believe, that we catalogue stories as if the
      > average adult in America or indeed many rich nations knows nothing
      > about the everyday challenges that many African Children face
      > Can you help me make a general top 6 list which can then get more
      > specific. Here's the level of understanding or misunderstanding needed
      > to retrain American adults.
      > http://africanidol. tv http://www.facebook
      > .com/profile. php?id=670257246
      > 1 In many African countries, 10% of children will die before the age
      > of 5, primary challenges malaria and diarrhoea
      > 2 Both clean water and food are sufficiently scarce that up to another
      > 10% of children are physically or mentally damaged by these lacks
      > 3 Tens of millions of African children now have no parents, mainly
      > wiped out by Aids. They live either with poor and elderly grandparents
      > or in some cases on their own
      > 4 Many African children have no access to schools. Others are forced
      > to leave school and start work, sometimes from as early as 9. Such
      > work is usually as a beast of burden (carrying wood or water all day)
      > or as a domestic in cities. Domestic girls are sometimes sexually abused
      > 5 Every decade civil wars and genocide seems to ravage a different
      > group of African countries- currently Darfur in Sudan , Somalia ,
      > Zimbabwe . This also causes huge refugee movements that can disturb
      > the fragile stability of neighbours.
      > 6 Energy and environments are problems. Many places have had natural
      > resources including trees decimated by previous generations. Many
      > households have no light or energy.
      > Please edit what I have got wrong or left out - with apologies for my
      > ignorance. Once we have the stories right the question becomes does
      > anyine in Africa want to become the main inbox if serious people want
      > to find out more about a particular story.
      > I am slowly trying to work out what a gallery of such African
      > Intelligence heroes might look like but will need a lot of communal
      > re-editing -again apologies for errors I commit until you correct me
      > http://africanidol. tv/_wsn/page2. html
      > chris.macrae@ yahoo.co. uk us 301
      > 881 1655
      > I know quite a lot about childrens challenges in Asia; very little
      > about Africa; more than almost anyone on how media awareness plays
      > very odd tricks which I have written up in 2 books the crisis of world
      > brands in 1990 and 1996 Brand Chartering; pass the mail on if anyone
      > wants to debate mass media's tipping point
      > http://universityof stars.tv
      > If anyone has time to join www.ted.com a source
      > withouth which bono would not have got this far http://www.ted.
      > com/index. php/talks/ view/id/59
      > - when you fill in the
      > profile put human as one of your 10 associations ; that way we can tag
      > each other in time for Americans next change flow which is out of
      > Tanzania in early June http://www.ted. com/index. php/pages/
      > view/id/61
      > Copy addresses and emails from any email account to Yahoo! Mail -
      > quick, easy and free. Do it now...

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      Prince M. Obiri-Mainoo

      Executive Director
      National Africa Foundation
      Mac's Vision International

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