-Written by Elizabeth Onekalit
Imagine with me you are sitting at the dinner table with your child or a child in your life and you ask them what they learned in school that day. Some common responses might be, ‘I learned what a verb is!’, ‘I can do the Pythagorean theorem!’, ‘did you know that our oxygen comes from plants?!’.
What you don’t expect them to say is, ‘nothing.’ And if it was their response, I assume you would say, ‘what do you mean nothing?’
“I mean, I didn’t learn anything. I just copied off the chalkboard all day long and repeated what my teacher said over and over again.”
“Does this happen a lot?”
“I’m setting up a meeting with your principle to find out what is going on.”
Unfortunately, this is normal in the Ugandan school system. It’s called rote learning and it has been happening for years. Word after word is written on the chalkboard and the pupils are expected to copy it down in their notebooks and learn from it. The only “engagement” is the repetition of information. Come test time, pupils are asked questions about what they repeated over and over again and are expected to the know the answer because, well, they repeated it.
Fortunately, there is a solution and it is called Roots to Fruits Curriculum. Lisa Coggin, along with volunteers at Our Call Missions, has been working on Roots to Fruits for many years. Lisa has lived in Uganda for 15 years and knows the school system like the back of her hand. She has met with officials in the Ministry of Education and has received approval to write Roots to Fruits as long as it includes the requirements of Ugandan Curriculum.
Roots to Fruit is engagement, it is hands-on learning, it is Christ based and it works. The pupils who have been taught using this curriculum are thinking for themselves, using reason, taking the information they have learned and applying it.
This curriculum takes a lot of manpower to write and there is still a long way to go. P1-P3 are complete and the Our Call team is working tirelessly to finish it.
Consider donating to the work of writing and distributing Roots to Fruits so that children in Uganda can start learning.
To donate, follow this link: https://ssmfi.org/missionary/our-call-missions/
To learn more about Roots to Fruits, visit ourcallmissions.org