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PMTC in THE GUARDIAN of 13 April 2023

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

GUARDIAN article
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Partage Montessori Teacher Training College of Bukoba, which conducts courses on practical and psychological development of young children through the Montessori method, had the pleasure, on the 24th. of March, to graduate 12 of its students who had achieved their two years diploma course and also, on the same day, 20 teachers from Government primary schools of Kagera, who had been given six months special initiation into the Montessori system.

120 years ago, the concepts of Maria Montessori, first female medical doctor of Italy, revolutionized the way the world saw small children. She developed a scientific system of education implemented today in almost all countries, synonymous with pre-school (kindergarten).

She refers to the mind of the child between three and six years of age as the ABSORBENT MIND. By absorbing surroundings through sensorial exploration, the child constructs his memory, his power to understand, his ability to think. He forms himself and his personality.

All he needs is a rich environment which fulfils his inner urge to develop. The method, then, consists in preparing this environment, displaying didactic materials, proposing individual instructions by a trained teacher…

Apparatuses have been designed by Montessori to bring out the hidden learning power of the child. They have a built-in “Control of Error” which enables him to judge by himself of his performance and learn from mistakes.

The role of “moulding” the child is that of Nature and of the child himself.

The role of a trained teacher is that of an observer whose goal is to intervene less and less as the child develops.

Knowing how to observe and when to intervene (and how much) is one of the most important talents the Montessori teacher acquires during his training.

During the graduation ceremony, the Regional Commissioner was represented by Erasto Yohana Sima, District Commissioner for Bukoba.

Being himself a teacher by profession he emphasized on the importance of the Montessori approach iin early childhood education:

"After this training – he noted - you must help the Government and society at large to solve the challenges the education sector is presently facing.

I insist that you should use a simple, friendly language, as well as devise clear methods to monitor the effect of the unique Montessori methodology in improving learning outcomes in our schools".

He added that he was optimistic that this programme, scheduled to benefit 120 teachers over a period of 3 years, will attain substantial achievements.

He promised that Government will continue supporting all stakeholders who are working to improve the education sector in the country.

In her remarks, the Quality Assurance Officer from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Agusta Lupokela, applauded Partage Organization for successfully implementing an early education training project aimed at improving teachers ability in teaching elementary classes.

She also urged the teachers who have benefitted of such a particular training to share their new knowledge with fellow teachers who did not benefit directly from it.

She concluded by saying that the Government of Tanzania will continue managing and controlling quality of education at all levels.

On their part, the graduates asked the Government to improve learning and teaching infrastructure in public schools to increase pupils and students' understanding, knowledge and success.

One student who attended the two years course, Jesca Jonas said she was very proud to get some knowledge on how she can friendly take efficient care of children and make them to love learning. Many of them face psychology challenges and need help in various ways.

After her two years training she now knows how to assist a child’s creativity and how to identify his needs according to his age. She can help him because she learnt to trust in his human potential.

The Principal of Partage Montessori Teachers College, Jacqueline Mwombeki, noted that during the course, among other things, the teachers were taught various behavioral interventions based on the Montessori approach to motivate their pupils and establish with them a friendly relationship.

Once a child considers his teacher as someone who is there to help, who understands him, who doesn’t judge him, he can develop great interest in attending school without having to be forced or punished. It is the teacher’s attitude which opens the door to the child’s behaviour changes and effective learning.

Six months training is too short to develop the skills acquired over two years diploma course, but the Montessorian power of attraction is so strong that it is somehow effective on its very onset.

She wishes the twenty “junior Montessorians” leaving the College today to have the joy to experience this power upon returning to their classrooms, and the ten confirmed new diploma holders to nurse, in each child they will teach, the seeds of the talents he was born with.

Jacqueline Mwombeki concluded by thanking the Government of Tanzania for its exceptional cooperation and guidance.

And, over all, by thanking heartily the foreign sponsors of Partage Tanzania who are supporting financially the Montessori College of Bukoba, and among them two important contributors, the Hans Van Bokkem Fondation in the Netherlands and the Arthur Wasser Foundation in Switzerland.

Education is expensive. But investing in human capital is priceless.

GUARDIAN article
Download PDF • 246KB

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