On Wednesday 15th march 2017, I interviewed ANDREA NEMBRINI, the that LUIGI GIUSSANI PREPRIMARY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL. He studied at UNIVERSITÀ CATTOLICA in Italy (Milano) and for seven years he taught at FONDAZIONE SACRO CUORE, MILANO. Andrea was sitting in the head teacher’s office… his office was still under construction.
During the interview, he spoke about the hope he has for both the teachers and the students...
Why did you decide to come to Uganda?
I am a teacher, I have been teaching for seven years in Italy. I was invited here by one of mygreat friends who has been working here since 2012. When I heard about the story of the womenof MPI, Rose and the school, I decided to come here to see, enjoy this experience and to work with the certainty that it is a great possibility for me for growing as a teacher and as a human being.
Can you tell me about the last five months you have been here?
These five months were very nice because there has been all the beauty of the beginning… when you start something new it is always amazing because you don’t know what is going to happen! All is a surprise and for this reason every new beginning is wonderful! The challenges are many,but the beauty remains the core of this school.
How is the situation? Can you tell me something of what is happening in the school?
The most important aspect of the school are the teachers, as they are the ones moulding the shape of the school. That’s why, we are working a lot with them. We are having many training coursesand collaborating with some Italian schools. We are trying to help the teachers to improve their job.
Even the walls and the building must communicate the beauty that generated the school. That is why we are trying to renovate the infrastructure; because a beautiful environment is a help forthe teachers, students and the life of the school.
The setting of the school is wonderful, when I came here, for the first time I was really impressed. But it was clear that some changes were needed, for making a better use all this plot, Idesired the best!
Of course, running a school while carrying out renovation works is not easy, but the works are almost completed and the general outlook of the school has changed a lot. I think that the children with time will be able to enjoy the new pitch, all the external works and the new toilets. I think they have understood that we are making new things for them so they are bearing with the situation. I am so happy for all these improvements; having two sports fields, shelters where children can stay during their free time or while having lunch… Even the secretary and head teacher are going to have a better place where to work.
You mentioned how pivotal is the role of the teachers in a school, may you tell us something more about the work you are doing with them?
Recently, at the beginning of the year, we held two training courses for them, and we are going to add more training sessions during the year. We are working with teachers according to the level of their pupils (nursery, lower classes and upper classes) trying to help them to grow professionally by accompanying them, since most of them are young teachers. And they are wonderful because they want to learn and they are eager to work together and collaborate with me and Ruka John Bosco, the head teacher. We are trying to become more aware of the importance of our job. We spend a lot of time together, sharing experiences, advices, tools and speaking about the various aspects of this job. All we are trying to do is to become more and more aware that starting point are not the children but ourselves. A teacher can teach only if she knows what her need is.
What is your hope for the teachers?
My hope is that teachers can become men and women certain of the reality and of themselves. The way to reach this certainty is through their job; teachers must be serious with their job as we ask our children the same.
How are the children welcoming or facing these changes taking place in the school and inthe teachers?
It is too early to say… because this kind of job is like farming, you sow the seed in the soil but you will see the fruit in a long period. What I can already tell you is that, there is a nice atmosphere of trust on the side of pupils. Particularly we are trying to change the educational approach in nursery and in the lower primary; I feel they are enjoying it. They aren’t scared because they trust their teachers and they feel what is happening is a good for them.
it is the beginning, they are little sparks we need at least one year to see if it works! I feel also the parents are going to help us in this.
Now that you spoke about the parents as a school, how are you going to engage parents to help you in this work?
We need the parents! We are not mothers and fathers and at the same time they are not teachers. Our task is different and the most useful thing for me is that a mother, in her house, with herchild, is a mother and a father is a father. I think this is the best way, for a parent, to help us in our daily work. In the educational path, it’s very important that parents and teacher speak to each other. This means I will talk more with the parents to understand their feelings and their questions not because I want to hear all their complaints but cause I need their feedback. It is very important because they can see something that we cannot see as we see some aspects of their children they do not see.
The hope I have for the teachers is also the hope for I have the parents. The time children spend in school is important for the parents too, for they can also learn.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
Meeting Point International | Lumanyika Bright
Luigi Giussani Pre-Primary and Primary school (LGPP)| ANDREA NEMBRINI