Extra Elementary Programmes
Teaching Aids Rooms
The Teaching Aids Rooms were created to give Jamadianle and ICBA students an opportunity to learn in a more informal setting through games and other stimulating educational materials. Teachers select students to go to the Teaching Aids Rooms where they work with volunteers (usually 4 children for every volunteer) who guide them through a range of different activities. Teachers also go to borrow teaching aids to use in preparing lessons.
As a way of encouraging the holistic development of children, United Action for Children (UAC) sets aside annual days for sports; music and arts; and AIDS Day. Sports Day is held annually in late October and is an inter-class sports competition. Music and Art Day (Open Day) is held annually in early February and allows students to make and then exhibit art projects for visiting parents. This is also an opportunity for UAC to give the community information about its various programmes, such as the vocational and computer units. In addition, local Cameroonian musicians are invited to perform music for the children, who sing and dance. UAC also celebrates World AIDS Day, December 1st.
In addition to their work during the school year, Jamadianle and ICBA teachers offer summer Holiday classes to interested students during July and August every day from 8am to 12pm. During this time, students practice reading, writing, and play educational games. The cost of the program is kept at a minimum, usually between 3000 and 4000FCFA (6 – 8 US$). This amount is to enable teachers acquire materials for the programmes and also to compensate those involved in the programme.
Remedial Reading Programme
Individual attention is not common in Cameroonian classrooms. A typical government- run class can consist of 80 students (or more) to one teacher. Unlike in public schools, individual attention is a core principle of United Action for Children’s teaching philosophy. A concrete example of its child-centered focus is the Remedial Reading Program (RRP), which was created in 2003 by a Dutch volunteer Marieke Wiseman. During the past school year (2012-2013), a selection of students from classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 met with Jamadianle and ICBA teachers on a one to one basis in the School library or Teaching Aids Room, during which they worked on a range of exercises including alphabet and word recognition, pronunciation and sentence construction. Presently, UAC is able to offer this program and the required materials free of charge thanks to generous donations.