In July, a group of educators from across Sub-Saharan Africa gathered for the very first in-person Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Bootcamp. The bootcamp was organised to equip more organisations with the TaRL skills necessary to implement the approach. 30 participants from 18 organisations attended this bootcamp. These organisations work at the community level in diverse countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Madagascar, and South Africa. Five of the participants received funding from D-PRIZE to facilitate their travel and accommodation expenses for the training. The partnership with D-Prize seeks to equip promising organisations to pilot TaRL programs.
The TaRL Bootcamp, which was designed by TaRL Africa’s content and training team, was no ordinary training program. It was a deep dive into the key elements of the TaRL approach, encompassing teaching and learning activities, material development, classroom management, lesson planning, as well as measurement and monitoring. “As a teacher, my ideas about assessment changed during the first few days of the TaRL Bootcamp. I got to learn how children are assessed to understand their learning needs before they begin their TaRL sessions,” said Gideon Oyedeji, a passionate teacher from Nigeria,
In addition to capacity-building sessions, the bootcamp provided participants with an opportunity to see a TaRL classroom in action as they ventured to the learning labs nestled in Kitui County, Eastern Kenya. In these labs, TaRL Africa continually refines and enhances TaRL innovations and programming. It was here, during school visits, that attendees saw the magic of TaRL. They observed young learners actively participating in classroom activities, experiencing the sheer joy of learning through play. “I learnt how to manage classroom activities and keep learners engaged during the session,” said Edward Hiaro, from Madagascar, on witnessing the transition from whole-class to small-group activities. Chante-Marie Espach, from South Africa, said that she was captivated by the teachers’ masterful classroom management and timekeeping skills, which she said gave each learner an enriched experience.
At the end of the TaRL Bootcamp, participants departed with more than just knowledge. They committed to conducting practice classes and implementing TaRL interventions in their respective contexts. “We hope to continuously offer capacity building on the methodology to organisations working towards improving fundamental learning outcomes across the continent through the training,” said Sheila Chepkoech, Partnerships Manager at TaRL Africa.