As the end of my time here in Enoosaen approaches, I thought it would be interesting to report back on the computer lessons I have been giving to the girls.
During my time here I have also been teaching computer classes to the girls at Classes 4 and 6 twice a week. Electricity is a problem in the area, so the lessons didn’t start right away and were occasionally interrupted when the power was out, but overall I can say that I have taught at least one solid month of computer classes, if not a bit more.
This was a good learning experience for the girls, and it was an equally good learning experience to me. We take for granted our easiness around electronic devices, and it was fascinating to see those young minds exposed to something as mind-blowing as a computer for the first time.
Things that for us are second nature, such as moving a mouse around, were an exercise in patience with the girls. They were equally frightened and amazed at what that little thing could do, and fully mastering the motor skills to know how to move the mouse all over the screen while using a very small desk surface or the proper time to use the left or right button might still take some time.
We have 16 computers, so for the most part each computer was used by two girls. Keeping an orderly classroom was difficult at times, but things became better when we figured that the girls would be good at teaching each other as well, so I would usually explain something and then give them a little time to talk about it with their partners. By now, I’m happy to report that they know how to turn the computer on and off, how to open the WordPad, they are more or less familiar with the keyboard and can type most things at an acceptable speed for their age, and they know how to highlight something and change the fonts’ color, size and style.
I know that for many these accomplishments may sound unremarkable, and before I came I also had very unrealistic expectations about what we would be able to achieve with the girls. However, after being here teaching the girls I’m truly happy with what they have achieved in such a little time. Bear in mind that 99% of these girls had never seen a computer before, and 100% had never even touched one. If anything, this just demonstrates how efforts like these should be multiplied and expanded. Like most kids, they are very bright and learn very fast, and unlike most kids we know they don’t take these opportunities for granted and are very grateful for being able to learn, even if just a little.
I know that these new opportunities offered to them by the Enkakenya Centre for Excellence will have a huge impact on their learning curve. I have great expectations for these girls, and dream that maybe someday I will get an email from one of them updating me on all the amazing things they will certainly know how to do by then.
Posted By Cleia Noia
Posted Aug 18th, 2011