Humana People to People

Humana People to People

Planet Aid Inc, ADPP Mozambique and the Ministry of Education produce new school books in two Mozambican languages

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Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique are producing teaching and learning materials in two Mozambican languages, Changana and Rhonga.   The effort is part of the USDA­-funded Food for Knowledge (FFK) Project, under the literacy program “Reinforcement of Reading and Writing.”

In Mozambique, the vast majority of the children do not learn to speak in the official language, Portuguese, and thus are challenged to learn how to read using reading materials that are phonically unfamiliar.

However, when students have access to learning materials written in their mother language, they develop reading and writing skills faster, and they can use it as a foundation for learning to read and write in Portuguese later. The pioneering materials produced as a part of FFK’s literacy program are enabling students to more effectively participate in lessons and thereby improve their listening, speaking, and comprehension skills, as well as vocabulary and the capacity to tell and re-tell stories.

Collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Development and ADPP Mozambique

Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique are very proud to be part of the production of new grade 2 books in Changana and Rhonga, two of the 16 Mozambican languages taught in the primary schools. Developing official primary school books in national languages would be impossible without collaboration between several partners. The production of the schoolbooks is a result of a strong and well functioning partnership among Planet Aid Inc., ADPP Mozambique, the Mozambican Ministry of Education and Human Development, and the provincial and the district education departments.

Each partner contributed to this pioneer production of the grade 2 schoolbooks in the two languages. While the Ministry of Education defined the curriculum background for the content of the books and materials, Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique contributed to the structure of the material, the strategies for the elaboration of books and manuals, as well as the graphic design and printing of the books. Cambridge Education provided the methodological platform for the materials, and the district education departments helped with the distribution of the books and manuals to the schools in the districts and the conservation of the books at the schools.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN BILINGUAL EDUCATION

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I am Roberto Neves Cuinica, a 35-year-old teacher at Manguendene Primary School. I have been teaching there for nine years, of which seven years were with grades one to three.

During my teaching career, I have encountered many children who struggle with common challenges, a main one being low performance in Portuguese classes. The students have difficulty expressing themselves in Portuguese and very few know how to read and write in the national language.

In 2017, I was faced with the challenge of teaching bilingual modality. For this, I participated in training sessions to better understand the methodologies of bilingual education.

Now, being a guide in the teaching and learning process (using the Changana language), I have learned that the environment in bilingual modality classes is very competitive. All the students want to participate by talking about their experience with their families or about what they have learnt in the classroom. As a result, the students of bilingual classes are very expressive and participative, demanding teachers with a high capacity to manage classrooms. However, this also means that bilingual teaching contributes to an improved quality of teaching, and a higher value placement for a community’s language and culture.

The factors that have allowed for success in my work in bilingual education include:

  • Participation in training about bilingual education methodologies.
  • Use of materials that promote effective learning.
  • Exchange of experience among teachers and Reading Coaches.
  • Use of reading books, read-aloud books, and decodable books. (These are indispensable reinforcement materials in the teaching and learning process, since they motivate students to participate in class and promote effective learning. On the other hand, the methodological guidance manuals help teachers plan and define teaching strategies.)
  • Use of innovative teaching practices for method of instruction; reading, writing, and oral methodologies; and class planning.

I wish to commend the teaching of bilingual modality, as I believe that it has the potential to change students’ low achievements in class. It is impressive and fun to see grade one students reading; and for this, monolingual teachers often come to visit my classes.

I also want to mention ADPP, and thank them for the materials used to teach bilingual reading and writing, which they have supplied. These important materials motivate the students to stay in school.

Moreover, the Reading Coaches’ support for teachers in various moments (during class planning, production of materials, reading games, and class organization) has additionally contributed to the quality of teaching these students now receive.

FFK’S LITERACY PROGRAM

ADPP Moz Visit of Finnish Minister of Justice to Cidadela ARTICLE with photos 1 10

 

Reinforcement of Reading and Writing, the literacy component of the Food for Knowledge Project (FFK), is being implemented by Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique, in partnership with the Mozambican Ministry of Education and Human Development, and financed by USDA.

The project’s main objectives are to improve the educational performance of primary school students, as well as improve their nutrition through daily school meals. The literacy component (which was introduced in select project beneficiary schools in 2017) aims to improve the reading and writing skills of students in early grades. This component plays an invaluable role in achieving FFK’s main objectives.

The Mozambican population is characterized linguistically by the predominant use of local languages. Mozambican Bantu languages are the mother languages of 80 percent of the country’s population. This calls for the implementation of FFK’s literacy program in these local languages.

Teaching in mother languages has proved very successful. In fact, the Government of Mozambique's educational plan is a progressive, gradual implementation of teaching in local languages. Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique’s efforts are geared toward supporting the Government in achieving this objective, and thereby fighting illiteracy in Mozambique.

In 2017, Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique were supporting teaching in two local languages (Changana and Rhonga) in four districts of the Maputo province, covering a total of 1979 students at 63 schools. At the same time, literacy concepts used in this program were also introduced in monolingual classes at the program’s other beneficiary schools to reinforce the teaching of Portuguese. For 2018, the target for grade-one students learning with bilingual education is 5,000.

The focus on literacy intervention is due to an understanding that the mastery of reading and writing serves as a bridge to accessing other areas of knowledge, which will permit students to participate actively and conscientiously in various spheres of social and economic life. And, by supporting strong literacy in the first grades of primary education, the project enables students to build a solid foundation of reading and writing skills at the beginning of their educational path.

To achieve these objectives, the following activities were carried out:

  • Training education professionals from the project’s beneficiary districts. Trainings were focused on methodologies and strategies that contribute to continuous improvement of the teaching and learning process in the first three grades. In 2017, 119 teachers and 197 pedagogical directors and representatives from district’s education department received training.
  • Production of materials in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Cambridge Education. Four reading books for first and second grade (including respective manuals with methodological suggestions for teachers), 30 read-aloud books, and 36 decodable books were produced in Changana and Rhonga. These serve to develop a student’s skill in reading and writing, as well as improve his or her attention, active listening, comprehension, speaking skills, and vocabulary.

The production of Changana second-grade books has resulted in an agreement to produce, not only reinforcement materials for reading and writing (as it was the case for grade one books), but also the second-grade student book. Along with use in FFK beneficiary schools, this book will be used in other Maputo Province schools. There is also the prospect of extending the use of this material to other schools where the Changana language is spoken.

  • Introduction of a coaching system to offer support in organizing, planning, and pedagogy for school leadership and all first through third grade teachers. The Reading Coach supports the teacher directly and permanently, by assisting in joint planning, production, the use of didactic material, the correct use and conservation of reading and writing reinforcement materials, ornamenting the classrooms, and organizing the students. The Reading Coach also contributes to perfecting methodological strategies, observes the classes, and ensures that the education programs are fulfilled.

The Reading Coach influences the correct functioning and organization of the school. This allows for the sharing of methodological strategies among teachers of grades one to three, and among teachers from higher grades. In general, this improves the quality of teaching and contributes to good in-service training for the teachers. By providing this type of support, the project ensures the continuation of effective educational processes, including the organization, management, and operation of schools, and the improved quality of education, even after the project ends.

An evaluation of the first year of implementation of the literacy component was carried out in 2017. From this evaluation, some important gains can be registered. These include:

  • Communities are better able to understand the importance of bilingual education for efficient learning and for maintaining the value of the local languages and cultures.
  • Strengthening of partnerships between ADPP Mozambique, Mozambique’s Ministry of Education, the district-level governments and education departments, and the local communities.
  • The plan for production, printing, and allocation of materials was successfully carried out.
  • Betterment of methods for teachers in beneficiary schools, resulting in a substantial increase in the quality of students’ learning.

Planet Aid and ADPP Mozambique are committed to this literacy project and to ensuring the continuation of collaboration with the Mozambican Ministry of Education institutions at the central, provincial, district, and local levels.

Women and Girls in Science is key to breaking gender stereotyping of roles

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As the world marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February it is crucial to demand inclusion of women in the science to achieve gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals. Humana People to People is for inclusion of girls and young women in education. 

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology that their participation should be strengthened. The celebration is led by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that promote women and girls' access to and participation in science.

 

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Humana People to People is for the active participation of women and girls inorder to bring in other science research perspectives which can advance humanity. Women and girls continue being excluded from participating fully in science: a UNESCO background paper on women and girls in science shows that less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women.

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, from improving health to combating climate change will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity.

The members of Humana People to People in India and Mozambique are empowering girls and women to acquire confidence and venture in male dominated science fields. The starting point is to inspire girls to stay in school in marginalized and rural communities. Measures being taken build an enabling environment for equal participation of the women and girls and thus actions on addressing gender imbalance. The Humana People to People members improve the learning environment at the local schools by strengthening their water and sanitation conditions and by sensitizing teachers, students, and school council and community members about gender issues, including gender roles and stereotypes, violence against women and girls, sexual abuse and bullying, thereby making schools safer, healthier and more child-friendly. 

 

02 Oficial handover of the preschool in Mugubia community

 

ADPP Mozambique is running a programme benefiting 3 250 girls to remain in school, finish their primary education and transit to secondary education. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding the programme. The programme’s scholarship support initiative is making it possible for girls to pursue their dream of education. 

 

 06 Girls in Electricity course conducting practical simulation

 

Humana People to People India is running a similar programme called Girls’ Bridge Education Course in Rajasthan and Haryana states with an aim to educate out of school girls of the 9 to 14 years age group and enroll them in the main stream education. Besides mitigating gender disparity and preventing girls from dropping out of school, the Girls Bridge Course is providing skills training. Young girls are given a chance to carry out science education among other principal subjects. A second programme called “Illam Mottukal” is raising the quality of girls education in two districts of Tamil Nadu state of India providing remedial training to more than 8 000 girls as well as building capacity of 243 teachers involved with the programme. Each year science fairs are conducted with full participation of the “Illam Mottukal” girls who have come up with science inspired basic solutions to some everyday life matters such as models on how to clean dirty water, low-cost models to sun drying vegetables among others.

Saving South African lives from HIV and AIDS epidemic

SAVING LIVES

The concerted effort in fighting HIV and AIDS in South Africa has seen millions of lives being saved. Humana People to People South Africa continues to commit to reversing the HIV and AIDS’s negative impact among the communities heavily impacted by the epidemic.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region worst-affected by HIV and AIDS. According to AIDS Foundation of South Africa, South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS compared to any other country in the world with 5,6 million people living with HIV. Additionally, the neighbouring countries of South Africa are comparably affected, making them among the most infected nations globally.

Humana People to People in South Africa is actively involved in the fight to turn around these statistics through its HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support programme known as Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE). TCE was first implemented in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the year 2000.

TCE concept responding to HIV and AIDS crisis

Humana People to People developed the TCE concept as a direct response to the raging threat of HIV and AIDS at the beginning of the new millennium. TCE is a systematic community mobilisation drive against HIV and AIDS and TB. It targets communities with HIV mobilization for prevention messages that trigger individuals into taking control of HIV and TB. Further the programme instigates sexual behavioural change among the key populations.

The TCE Field Officers are trained to promote HIV and TB prevention and to give support to those infected and affected by the epidemics throughout the entire TCE operational area. 

 

Saving South African

 

Aligning TCE concept to South Africa’s AIDS challenges

The adoption of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy has seen a reform of the TCE strategy. The TCE concept is now streamlined to focus on ensuring that more people get tested and are knowing their HIV status, ensuring that people who are HIV positive receive sustained Anti-Retro Viral Therapy (ART) and lastly to ensure that people who receive ART succeed in suppressing their HIV viral load. 

Humana People to People South Africa through the TCE programme conducts community mobilization for HIV Counselling and Testing at designated sites in collaboration with local health authorities or other HIV Counselling and Testing providers, as well as carry out mobile testing actions at TCE sites. The programme shares best practices and creates linkages with key health services. Further specific intervention are carried out around Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, community based support on ART and TB treatment adherence. 

TCE is empowering the adolescent girls (15-19 years) and young women (20-24 years) of South Africa with HIV sexual behaviour change education, economic skills training. Further, the program addresses intergenerational sex challenges which fuel an increase in new HIV infection among the above targeted groups. 

Focusing on Humana People to People South Africa’s TCE Communities Forward project

The TCE Communities Forward project is currently active in 4 provinces; Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal reaching over 100 000 South African each year.

In 2014, Humana People to People South Africa introduced TCE Communities Forward (TCE-CF) a systematic intervention aimed at helping communities to take control of the HIV and TB epidemics. It equips individuals with the tools they need to mitigate the consequences of the HIV and TB, break down the stigma that still surrounds the epidemic as well as stop the spread of HIV. The project is providing high quality community-based HIV Counselling and Testing (CBCT) models supported with innovative and effective referral systems. It aims to contribute to reduce HIV incidences by linking high incident communities and key populations to HIV and TB prevention, care and support services.

    

TESTING

 

In 2017 alone the project managed to test 105 951 with 9 683 people tested HIV positive and out of that number, 4 722 were linked to care and treatment. Everyone tested for HIV, whether negative or positive, performed TB screening and 9 276 people were referred for CD4 T-cell count

In 2017 TCE distributed 3 043 781 male condoms and 307 645 female condoms through door to door visits campaigns, workplaces, taverns and condom outlets. TCE Community Forward in 2017 reached its target through working together with community leaders and other organizations.