A class of preschool teachers in rural Kenya has developed a $500,000 curriculum that teaches a new form of language to children as young as 6.
The class of teachers, called a “language learning program,” also teaches children basic skills like writing and reading.
The project is the brainchild of a group of educators who live in a remote village called Lulu, which has been ravaged by severe drought and has been struggling to find enough water and other resources to maintain its small community.
Lulu is one of about 500 villages that have experienced severe drought, which is killing off trees, and many of the local people have been struggling with food insecurity, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The group started working on a program to teach children a new, easier language, but the teachers were struggling to reach the rural communities.
This is a problem for the whole community, the school principal, Dr. John Wijaya, told The Associated Press.
“I was a little worried because we were looking for a solution for the local population, for us as the teacher, as a teacher in the community, because we have the responsibility of teaching the children,” Wijya said.
To address the issue, the group started creating a curriculum that includes a basic reading and writing program, a basic science class, and a class that teaches children the basics of a new word that can be used for both writing and listening.
In order to teach a new vocabulary, the curriculum will include vocabulary lists from around the world and teach children how to use those words.
Wijaya said that the language learning program is a “game changer.”
“It’s like a game, like an arcade game.
You can play it, and then when you’re finished, you can play again,” he said.
“So, it’s a way to teach and help the children, and we are really pleased to be able to do that with this program.”
The program has already been used in a handful of villages.
Wijao said the children are learning to use words like “nigger,” “monkey,” “savage,” “ghetto,” and “wretched.”
Wodaya said the kids in the program are “very excited, because this is a language that they can learn.”
For many, the language lesson has helped make the village whole again.
Dr. Mark Szelech, the program’s chief educational officer, said that many children have been crying because they no longer have food to eat.
He said that children who have been in the village for years can also feel “very welcome” and have a sense of belonging.
“They’ve got the language and they have the community to speak with,” Szeelch said.