Inspiring next generationsNovember 26, 2015
At Morulem Primary school in Abim district, Peter teaches agriculture, mathematics and religious education (RE) and is the focal teacher of the LEARN pupils entrepreneurship club in which, as Peter explains:
They learn agriculture skills which is definitely important, in the way that, now we sometimes find that not all children may complete primary levels, or even go to senior school. They may not complete. Now as a child, after learning, these agricultural skills, you will transfer it back home, so much so that even at the moment, so much that when you go home, you will not be redundant, just keep on having your nursery bed, transplanting, caring for, and eventually you will sell and get some money in order to help you next time. And actually that is the purpose, the reason why they are supposed to be taught these skills. So much that tomorrow after schools, they go and use it at home.
However, Peter also speaks from experience, which he also often shares with his pupils in order to make them realise of the importance of agricultural skills:
Me personally, in my mothers home, we were not able to go to school. I gave the pupils an example of myself. I said, I first started my life, as to look for money, by growing potatoes. After growing potatoes, I sold them, after selling I could save the little I get. Not only potatoes, from potatoes I went to maize, from maize I went to cassava; form cassava, I went to simsim. That’s why I decided now to go to school. Then I said, in the very way, I am telling you this story today, learn form it, because you will benefit from it later. Don’t be lazy! God has never created anybody lazy. Lazy is just something you say, like ‘ah tomorrow I will do, tomorrow I will do” – but you need to mean it! When you are saying you are going for this, go for it! – because later, in time to come, you will benefit from it. Actually that’s why some of them when they see me talk, they say “hey sir is it true?” And I say “Yes, I started from nowhere and that’s how I became a teacher!” If I were to sit without doing anything – in fact, personally I had no clothes when I was from P1-P3. I had no clothes completely. I had a small piece like this in front of me like. That’s why when I went and told them my story, my experiences, they were laughing. That’s why some of them said “from here, we shall not stop here. I am going to, we shall take whatever I have learnt from here.”
Peter’s own ambition and motivation that not only enabled him to go to school, but also his siblings, as he soon paid their school fees too, is inspiring the next generation through African’s Revial LEARN School Demonstration Garden Programme at Muorulem School – And the children are responding well to it – Peter says:
“They are willing and committed. Whenever there is no rain, if there is no rain, children will water twice a day. Even now, there are still watering.”
However, Peter is not only motivating its pupils to put in some extra hours, but also keeps an eye on gender equality. He has implemented a buddy system where everyone has do to everything, so that everyone will know how to do everything:
The girls are pairing up with the boys. They look at a boy as their brother, they look at a girl as their sister. Actually when we sit together with them, we talk right from down up to up. Before we start any doing, anything, watering etc., we distribute the work, to the girls or the boys – but let us not say this is for the girls, this is for the boys, no! Let us handle all this tasks together! If the boys are supposed to pump water, the girls are supposed to water. If the girls are supposed to pump water, the boys are supposed to water. They do it comparatively.
And since they share the work, they will also share the profits of their harvests:
The children say that when they get some money, they share together. So what we did with the first profits? Immediately, when I saw that some club members, some pupils within the club had no pens, had no books, we decided to buy and we give to them. I will always tell them, since I am also a member with the community, a member of the saving group of the community, I will also say that the part of it which is remaining, they shall not share it all, but give it to the saving group for the children, so much so that next time if there is going to be nothing completely for starting, we shall begin with it.
Peter is clearly thinking ahead, because the official LEARN School Demonstration Garden Project will come to an end in November 2015. Saving some of the profits for the next planting season will make sure that Peter will be able to empower more of his students!