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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Looking ahead to the future

Mme Neema Kisanga, Biology teacher at Kiusa Secondary School has implemented

motivational sessions for her Form IV students.  This involves going off site on Saturday and holding discussions about the students role in the direction of their lives.  I was not invited to the first one.  I understand there were 14 students.  I was asked to support the next one.  Yesterday, 60 students came out to the Umoja Hostel where I booked a large hall for their meeting.  The students arrived, dressed up as if for a formal dinner.  Mme Kisanga told me after that the students would not likely have a graduation and so this was a bit of an ‘instead’.   We watched Dr. David Suzuki speak and then a bit of IMAX life under the sea movie while we waited for all to arrive.

Neema Kisanga and her husband

Of course 2:00 start means maybe 3:00 in Tanzania.

Neema’s husband conducted the session and DST then provided a meal for the students of chicken and chips or rice.  They students were  most appreciative and thanked me formally and from the heart.

This wasn’t specifically science based but I felt it was valuable nonetheless.

The group

Look.... I'm in a photo!


If you’ve been watching my blog you may have wondered where I have been.  Things have slowed down considerably as teachers become more and more occupied with preparations for end of year, which is November.  I find there is a lot of time spent evaluating through exams here and often the other classes are sent home while one class is writing exams.    Students are also required to be evaluated through practical exams which it seems are quite specific.

I held a teacher workshop August 5.  The teacher centre is being renovated so we returned to Buffalo Hotel.  There were around 15 teachers who came out but over 25 said they were coming.  This is a difficult thing to deal with.  Teachers expect and appreciate being fed at these seminars but I cannot easily predict the number to be fed.  I’m not also finding that many expect that they should also receive extra payment for attending such a session.  I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this.  How can I convince them that the money can be better spent on equipment?

I canceled the workshop on Aug 25 due to lack of response.  This is a continuing problem.  Teachers cannot seem to predict whether they will be able to attend or not.  I canceled it the day before, having only heard from 3 teachers.

I am thinking that in future I may decide to hold the formal workshop portion of DST only from January until June, when teachers are freer to attend and when activities are easily incorporated into their lessons.  I’m not sure how I will accomplish this but I am working with a few of the teachers to determine the best way to get organized so that the equipment will be accessible during times when I am not here.



On Friday while doing my school visits I received a text only a short time after leaving Karanga SS.  I was invited to come back today to play with waves and sound.  It was a class of Form IV…around 50 students.  We had 80 minutes to illustrate as much as we could on the topic.

There was power without problems and we managed to make room to move around.  I even got students up dramatizing particles in a medium.

The students were very receptive and asked me to come back really soon to help them with their optics practicals.  This school is quite small and relatively far away from town on a very  badly rutted road.  Eunice, their teacher, has participated in several of my workshops but I hadn’t ever been to class there before so I was happy to get the invitation.  Welcome to DST Karanga!