This year the kindergarten in Olmuringiringa village has 54 children from 3 to 5 years of age. Previously the children started kindergarten at age 4 but the government has encouraged parents and early years centres to start at age 3. This creates extra responsibility for the teachers who have risen to the new challenge. We are lucky to have the same dedicated teachers, Suzana Ngalesoni, Leah Godwin and Elias Samson. Both Suzana and Leah had babies in February this year which gave Elias an extra challenge but he had the help of our two very capable assistants, Esther Daniel and Einoth Daudi. Under Tanzanian law maternity leave is very short compared to UK. Suzana and Leah only had 3 months off before returning to work. Well done, ladies!
Thirty children graduated in December 2018. The parents always help the teachers to make it a day to remember. These children leave to go to different primary schools in the area and have the basic skills and confidence to continue in Standard One.
Ole Supeet is the director of the kindergarten, which in Maasai language is called Elang’ata E Maa, which means A Bridge for the Maasai. Ole himself is like a bridge as he reaches out to the immediate community and travels much further afield to visit other early childhood centres to collaborate and network with other teachers and to share the knowledge with his staff.
Due to ACT’s shortfall of funds the kindergarten has a new donor and NGO to pay the teachers’ and assistants’ salaries. ACT gave the teachers and assistants a generous end of contract payment but will continue to support the centre with educational materials, furniture and porridge.
Many thanks to Rebecca Ellison from the USA and her NGO in Tanzania.