Last Thursday I watched the beginning of it: Jen's immersion into Dinka.
We had just finished another sweltering day in classrooms, this time meeting with teachers at Akon school, which goes to Second Form, roughly equivalent to eighth grade. This meeting was partly outreach: Gabriel and Diyani were promoting the use of lesson plans, with specific objectives and measurable outcomes, sinch much of the teaching we see here is chaotic. And the half dozen teachers, most of whom had only elementary school education themselves, told us of their frustrations, which were many.
The physical setting has to be described. The rooms are dark except for the glare from glassless windows. Dingy concrete, doors off hinges. Goats, like the children, come and go. The only recognizably schoolish accoutrement is a painted blackboard in front, and in the upper grades some desks. The lower grades have no desks. The children sit in the dirt, clutching their notebooks and some UNICEF-provided materials. By the time they reach the upper grades, we notice it is all boys. The girls have disappeared; they are tending babies or working in the fields.