Team Training

November and December 2015 brought our Ugandan co-founder & trainer Ronald Okello to the Netherlands! Ronald spent two months learning more about helping students with learning challenges. His thoughts & experiences:

“The purpose of this trip was to give me a first hand experience in how parents, teachers and students of different primary and secondary schools deal with learning challenges in the small town of Zwolle.

This beautiful town was characterized by the bicycle riding culture of the Dutch people, cheese in all types and names, farmlands, and around the time I went: Sinterklaas, the famous period of celebrations and handing gifts to family members.

I got the opportunity to visit different cities, try new food, and take Dutch classes. Above all, I was able to visit primary and secondary schools and homework centers around the town of Zwolle. I met with people who have had several years of experience in working with students with learning challenges. I also had a chance to interact with these students in their school setting.

There are key things I learnt during my visit and training:

– There are simple ways and strategies that teachers and students can use to support students with learning challenges like; dyslexia, autism, ADHD, opposed to calling them slow learners
– Students with learning challenges have their unique strengths
– Not all students learn at the same time and at the same speed
– Most students in the Netherlands have learned to accept that they are different when it comes to learning
– Individual attention to students is key in identifying a student’s learning needs and helping the student deal with their challenges

During the trip I realized that that there is a huge difference between styles of teaching and how students are handled. There is not much attention and support given to students with learning challenges in Uganda. There is a lot that we have learned from the strategies used in the Netherlands. The strategies we will borrow to support students in Uganda will be adjusted to suit the learning environment.

Thanks to Backup Uganda for making this happen and thanks to all those who fundraised for the pilot project while I was there!”