New staff new start blog post

In one of our previous posts, we spoke about how Jan Jan Bureh Nursery (JJB) were waiting to re-open for the autumn term and welcome the children back in.
Unfortunately, a worrying thought lurked in the backs of the minds of the staff that worked at the school. They were concerned about the rain. The teachers were worried that the rain would flood the playgrounds, bringing out dangerous creatures that exist below the surface. They were worried that downpours would clatter loudly on the tin roof, stopping both teachers and children from being heard. And they were worried it would mean the children wouldn’t come to school because they didn’t have the right shoes to walk there.
In The Gambia, the home to JJB, the rain can bring a welcome relief from the hot, sticky sun. But it can also cause a lot of problems. In this case, it can mean that children don’t get to go to school for the day, missing out on an education and possibly one of the only meals they may get that day.
JJB send Intouch Global Foundation regular updates. We love reading their stories and seeing what they have been up to.
We received an update just last week from one of the teachers at the school:
School re-opened on Monday 21st September following the extended summer break due to the rains.
As it was still raining on Monday, not all children arrived at school – so that it was a slow start.
The children were served with a meal, and the staff held a meeting during the afternoon.
Staffing is interesting.
The senior teacher unexpectedly took a leave of absence and an Early Years student from Gambia college unexpectedly arrived for teaching practice. Two temporary teachers were employed (young men who had passed three exams as grade 12 at school). Finally, a teacher from a local school visited to say that his wife is training to be an Early Years teacher and that he would like her to be attached to the nursery! She is to attend an interview.
So, together with the existing staff, there is a teacher for every class – although only one has any teaching qualifications.
As the aim for the future is to employ only qualified teachers or student teachers, we are in talks with Early Years advisors from the coast; they are to visit the nursery to discuss how they can help with:
a) Finding a qualified Early Years Headteacher and teacher.
b) Enabling a selection of the existing staff to be Early Years trained.
The nursery will be responsible for funding the travel and accommodation fees for the advisors when they travel to JJB in the near future.
We will also be responsible for paying the college fees for training student teachers.
From the staff photograph, it is apparent that some of the new staff do not have the means to obtain suitable clothing for their new post.
Therefore, it may be necessary to offer support.
Today, Tida (the founder) will call a meeting with the staff to discuss ideas for possibly providing suitable clothing.
This may take the form of black trousers or skirts, white shirts, shirts or tops in traditional fabrics or smart, collared T-shirts with a school logo, which some staff already have and find comfortable.
Practical but smart clothing is needed. Female staff would be offered black trousers or skirts.
Tida is to meet with the builder to urge him to complete the building of the toilet block so that he can start the building work necessary to put a door on the open classroom and to also rectify the problem of flooding in the playground.
Let’s hope that the weather improves so that all of the children attend, and classes can then begin.