I went to this school before, it’s the one covered in flies that I compared to Pompeii, not in its heighday, but how it looks now.
Here’s the street it’s in:

And I found out why there are flies everywhere, this is the building that joins the school building:

Apparently the school used to be dark, smelly and just downright horrible.

I say apparently because what I saw today was amazing. They haven’t been doing the Genki English games, but they were loving the songs. When we walked in there was one class doing Doctor Doctor. They were using the computers we’d provided, but were playing the audio CD of the song. The kids were still loving it, but they actually have the software version so I showed them how to bring that up, and the kids just went massively huge eyed. I played the software with the animations and I mean seriously you have never seen such happy kids. They looked like they were going to explode! I really wish I could get permission to put the videos online because you just have to see it. At the end, one of the little girls said “Sir, thank you!”. All the teachers in our group were nearly crying again!

Upstairs they had a class doing rote learning, but we took a break and did some phonics with them, which they aced. We asked what Genki English song they had been doing most recently. It was “What’s your favourite colour?” They could sing it brilliantly and had no problem at all with the quite long “What’s your favourite…?” part and could understand it all. I did the simple game that goes with that, i.e. everyone says “What’s your favourite colour?” one person responds and everyone has to rush and touch something that colour. They were loving it. It’s probably the only chance they get to move all day, plus the were actually using English instead of rote learning abstract words like “tenacity” like in other classes. They were doing so well, with such a happy teacher in one of the poorest areas we work with here.

Let me see if I can get permission to post the videos of the kids, you’ll love them. But for the time being, here’s a quick shot of the surrounding area.

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

One Response to “Poverty to Success”

  1. Kirsten

    Exciting that you are having so much success! I’d love to visit the schools you’re working with and see the programs in action! Sounds fabulous!

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