A day in the life of …

A day in the life of our nursery school teacher – Madam Tumaini

The President of Tanzania ordered that all schools should be reopened on 29 June. The order came weeks after universities and other institutions resumed teaching.

Madam Tumaini (the Kiswahili word for ‘hope’) lives in Mkuranga town and walks to our Village every weekday to teach our pre-primary children. She also runs some remedial classes for our primary age children. She had been on lockdown in her home since March and this is her first week back with us.

I am so very happy to be back,” she says. “It was good to have more time with my own children“, (Hatiba, Lulu and Lukman), “But I missed my children in the village.

We were very fortunate that in Tumaini’s absence one of our older Malaika kids, recently qualified as an early year’s Montessori teacher, was able to step in temporarily to teach our children.

Madam Tumaini began working for us part-time in 2012 and moved to a full-time post the following year. She trained as a teacher in Zanzibar and taught there for 5 years before moving to Mkuranga. The classes she runs are highly structured as the timetable below shows…

And there is plenty of time for play and creative thinking. The children enjoy wearing the school uniform and look very smart.

Word has got around that she is an excellent teacher. She also has a well-equipped classroom with lots of bright pictures and educational aids on the walls. During our last visit, she asked for better toilet facilities for her younger children – we have been able to make some inexpensive alterations that the children are very happy with, especially with the emphasis now on washing hands frequently because of the virus.

As a result, six children from outside our village pay (a small amount) to be taught in our facilities. While we have the capacity to do this, we are very happy – we are helping the local community and also generating a little money to help our own children.

It is always great fun to accompany Tumaini on the weekly walk she undertakes with the children. They explore our farm and the bush surrounding it. There is always a new plant to see or a new animal to investigate.

Tumaini arrives at our village at 7:45 in the morning. She leaves us around 4 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after the children have had a 45-minute sleep and she has cleaned the classroom and prepared the materials for the next day. Three days a week she leaves at 5 pm as she teaches an hour-long remedial class for some of our less academic primary school children.

My heart is happy for the Standard 4 kids who did so well at the end of last year in the national exams“, she says. “Teaching is my hobby.
I love my job.