African adventure

A group of primary school teachers from Deeside and Donside will travel to Uganda as part of a programme to improve access to quality education in sub-Saharan Africa.

The teachers – including two head teachers – will spend five weeks during the summer holiday living with a family in the Masindi District of Uganda, learning about the realities of life in an African village and working with a host school supporting teachers to improve the quality of education.

The Global Teachers Programme, run by the Link Community Development charity, is designed to enhance the teaching of global citizenship values and target the attitudes of Scotland’s young people.

Margaret Thomson, head teacher at Lumsden Primary School, said: “The world is made up of countries, but global citizenship is about people.

“This is an opportunity for me to make real connections and build sustainable relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. It would allow me to act as a bridge between one culture and another.”

The Global Teachers Programme, funded by the Wood Family Trust, supports Ugandan teachers to address a range of challenges facing the country, including a shortage of staff and resources, from textbooks to classrooms.

Teachers from the following schools are taking part in the programme – Lumsden Primary, Banchory Primary, Westhill Primary, Crombie Primary, Monymusk School, Newdeer Primary, Aberchirder Primary, Gordon Primary and New Machar School.

They will draw on their own experiences to share techniques with their Ugandan counterparts and help them to improve the quality of education they deliver.

Dr Samantha Ross, Link Community Development Scotland project director, said: “By improving teachers’ skills, the Global Teachers Programme has a lasting impact on education in Uganda, which would not be achieved by simply providing resources like books and pens which cannot be replaced due to lack of finances.”

The participants leave for Africa on July 1. They will return to their classrooms with experiences they can use to impart the ideals of global citizenship to their students.

Aberdeenshire Council quality improvement officer, Andrew Ritchie, said: “We feel the opportunity offered to our teachers by this exciting and innovative partnership will enhance our delivery of global citizenship to our young people in our schools and ensure as meaningful and sustainable development of global citizenship as possible.”