The Class of 2022
The community has asked us to assemble a group of teachers from the best schools in the UK to come to Ankawa to teach for a week in the local schools. While this will be limited in terms of the amount we can teach, the greater point is to show both solidarity with the communities in exile and to show them that education is vital and highly-prized.
The current intake of students starting at secondary school will graduate in 2022. We want them to be seeds planted for their future countries, rather than opportunities lost. Education is their greatest hope.
We aim to take a small group of teachers to Ankawa in the near future. Here they will work in several schools serving both the IDP and the permanent community. In addition working with the teachers to share ideas in education provision and support them in their work.
Over the course of our last visit, Fr Douglas demonstrated how many of the initial problems for the IDPs had been solved, or at the very least are being tackled by the UN and other international organisations: they have watertight accommodation, access to regular food, clothing, and some have managed to find employment locally. However, education is an area of great concern. The centre has created a library and two nursery and junior classrooms where the youngest children are given a couple of hours of lessons a day by volunteers.
However, for the older children, they have to attend the local school which are too full to cope. The schools have rented houses nearby to try to accommodate the extra students, with the result that some students are being taught in kitchens and bathrooms by volunteers. Understandably, the IDP children are not keen to attend.
What is more worrying is that many of the local children are also giving up on education, believing that their future belongs in another country where their qualifications will not be recognised. We want to convince them otherwise.
If you are a teacher and are interested in working in this project, or if you or your school would be interested in hearing more please contact our trustee, Tom Barfield, who is arranging this project.
Tom Barfield TAB.Barfield@gmail.com