A HEAD teacher is off on a three-week mission to Africa.
Eelin Megson, head at Linthwaite Ardron Junior and Infant School, will be heading to Tanzania in January. In preparation for the trip youngsters at the school have been experiencing all things Africa.
The school has had links with Issenye High School and Iharara Primary School in North-West Tanzania, on the edge of the Serengeti National Park, for the past three years, and now Mrs Megson is going out there to help develop learning strategies for the schools and teach English.
Tanzania is the tenth poorest country in the world and education is highly valued.
Ardron School has held ‘Goat Harvests’ to raise money to buy goats in response to an appeal by the Wakefield Diocese, twinned with the Diocese of Mara, where both schools are situated.
The school had a change from the traditional harvest festival this year and instead opted for a sock harvest. Tanzanian pupils were having difficulty getting hold of socks.
After an appeal some 410 pairs were ‘harvested’ from Linthwaite children and a suitcase full of socks will be delivered by Mrs Megson. Also going out will be a mountain of pens, pencils, crayons and exercise books.
The school has also been a long-time supporter of the local charity Christian African Relief Trust (CART) sending school furniture and computers to Africa. It has also bought an elephant pump for a community in Uganda.
Many of the children in the two Tanzanian primary schools speak poor English and with all subjects taught in English at secondary level they must learn quickly.
Mrs Megson has been having Swahili lessons and intends to introduce the children to traditional stories such as the Three Billy Goats Gruff and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She will also work with the choir to teach them songs in English.
She also hopes to learn from the Tanzanian teachers about their approach to education and to bring back knowledge which will benefit Linthwaite Ardron, as well as strengthening the links between the schools.
By Christmas the school should have raised £3,000 as a cash gift for the two schools.
Mrs Megson will hold discussions with the heads of both schools to decide how best to spend the money.
Anyone who wishes to donate should contact the school office on 01484 222573 or email: email@example.com