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Southend High School for Girls Goes International!

On Thursday 8th September the staff and students at Southend High School for Girls are proud to welcome James Kalinga to the school.  James is the Manager of a Children's village in Mkuranga, which is about a 90 minutes drive from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  The Children's village is funded by the British and Dutch charity Malaika Kids.  Some 70 children, who have no mothers or fathers, live in the Children's Village.  They live in houses of 10 children each headed up by a ‘mama’.  As well as the accommodation and care for these children the foundation also funds a nursery school (from age 3) from which these children continue onto the local Primary School or go to a newly opened English Speaking Primary School in the village.

James, a qualified teacher himself, is very keen to come to the UK to see the more progressive and innovative teaching methods employed in some of our very best schools.  Tanzanian methods somewhat predate current UK educational practices for example in some classes they have 200 students per class (that is, on average, 4 students per desk!).  Having successfully delivered secondary initial teacher training in the Southend area for the last 2 years where better for James to see these methods in practice than at Southend High School for Girls.  Whilst visiting he will see a number of lessons, talk with staff about their teaching experiences at SHSG and UK schooling in general.  He will also meet with different groups of students to share his stories of life and learning in Tanzania. One very industrious yr11 student has even organised the chance to interview him as part of her research for her additional HPQ GCSE that she will be completing this academic year.  Given that her project is centred around the potential barriers to development for a country I am sure that James will offer her a truly unique perspective that will benefit her project immeasurably.

As part of SHSG's status as an international award school we are constantly looking for opportunities to extend the international links that the school has with educational establishments abroad.  We embrace visits such James' because they provide vivid and authentic opportunities for our students to learn about, experience and ultimately have an impact on the lives of young people around the world.  "I really hope that this is the start of a long term relationship between our School, James and the children of Mkuranga." says Mr Boney, Deputy Head Teacher.  This view is shared by James, who says " I am so looking forward to coming to the UK and learning about modern teaching methods. Perhaps I can also interest British children in Tanzania.  It is my first time outside East Africa and I cannot wait for this experience."  He is definitely not alone in that.

To learn more about Malaika Kids, please go to www.malaika-kids.org.