Sierra Leone teacher exchange now Ebola beaten
Last week saw the much anticipated resumption of teacher exchange visits between Hastings, UK and Hastings, Sierra Leone, when two teachers flew in from Sierra Leone as guests of their twinned schools here in Hastings UK.
Esther Tommy, Headteacher of Edest Preparatory and Primary School in Jui, spent the week with teachers and children at Dudley Infant Academy and Letitia Huggins, the Deputy Head of Jui Lower Primary School, worked at ARK Little Ridge Primary Academy, sharing different teaching techniques and comparing life in schools in the twinned towns.
Roger Mitchell, Schools Liaison Officer for The Friendship Link said, “The last two years have been extremely challenging and it has been difficult to maintain communication between the schools and enthusiasm for the twinning. Teachers both here and in Sierra Leone had continued to meet and work hard to maintain contact. To see the first teachers’ visit since the Ebola outbreak is very exciting.
“The twinning programme is gaining strength again with more schools coming on board and it is really encouraging after the uncertainties, fears and personal tragedies of the Ebola crisis. Early discussions are already underway about a visit to Sierra Leone next February to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Twinning and it is hoped that a number of teachers will be able to visit their partner schools in Hastings SL.”
Roger went on to say, “These exchanges are valuable in widening the pupils’ understanding of different cultures and lifestyles and makes the children both here and in Sierra Leone more aware of the world they are growing up in.”
As well as spending time teaching in school, the visitors had a busy programme of meetings and out of school activities arranged by Roger which culminated in the Annual Schools’ Football Tournament at St Leonards Academy and the Friendship Link’s Annual General Meeting hosted by Guestling Bradshaw CE Primary School. On Saturday, the Africans were taken by their hosts for a day seeing the sights of London on their way to Heathrow for their flight home in the evening.
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