Family Farm schools in North West Cameroon are run by the Education dept of the Catholic Church, providing post-primary, technical focused education. The trainees come from rural areas, and set up projects, usually agriculture based, which if successful, they continue as businesses after graduating.
“Over 95% of the population in this region are farmers, mostly subsistence level. In most areas here, issues that should be of environmental concern are either accepted as the norm or go unnoticed due to ignorance. In effect, lots of soil, forest and environmental degradation goes on at an alarming rate and if education/awareness is not intensified now, especially by inculcating sustainability values in the minds of the young, then the consequences may be catastrophic in the near future.”
In March this year Mbot Family Farm School, in Donga Mantung joined the PACE network, hoping that our resources and solutions approach would strengthen their teaching.
Banboye Fred, the local PACE representative with UNAFAS Cameroon recently made a follow up visit. He learned that the students are fond of borrowing the PACE books (no mention of whether it’s official or not), they take books home to read. We’re excited that this happens, because there is both a shortage of reading material and generally little interest in reading in these areas – providing access to literature on topics young people want to read is a great step forward.
Mrs Njonte Mary, an English language teacher at Mbot uses PACE materials to support literacy, she uses the books for language lessons, which are often held outdoors (below). She asks learners to choose passages from “Africa Our Home’ and to read them out loud to class-mates, giving explanation and local examples where they can.
Meanwhile Mr. Kongnso Roland, trainer for agriculture, has embarked on using PACE Action Sheets. He used Action sheet 31, which you can download here to guide the making of new compost heaps for their school garden. He has equally decided to do companion planting with students. He learned about companion planting in the PACE pack and now has students plant onions among the already growing cabbage as a means of biological pest control.
We expect to hear from Mr Kongnso and the students, as they make observations on these projects over time.
With thanks to TUSK www.tusk.org for supporting the PACE project and to UNAFAS for enabling Banboye’s involvement.