Should learning be fun?

“But I’m the teacher for the 5-6 year olds, I need to teach the children to read and write, not play games with them…”

This was a comment made by one teacher during a training seminar with the teachers of the new Kindergarten we are helping in Kara-Suu district. This teacher’s comment typifies many people’s attitudes towards learning, that learning can’t or even shouldn’t be fun.

The training had started with teaching on play and learning, on why play is important for children and how it helps them to have a good foundation for learning. It continued with our trainers teaching the teachers some basic English through a game. It was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for the teacher as she saw how shapes, letters, and numbers could be taught through fun and group games.

As part of our focus on development in the Kara-Suu region, we are working closely with the local government to help facilitate the opening of a new kindergarten (for children aged 2-6). This has meant running a series of training sessions, starting with two participatory learning lessons focused on child development, followed by training covering topics picked by the teachers themselves. These topics include First Aid, Crafts, Games and Music. Each session touches on some teaching theory, but is also very practical and learner centred, enabling the teachers to get the most out of the training.

In addition to these training sessions, donations from CDI’s supporters have enabled us to supply educational resources, particularly books, bean bags and craft items, as well as helping towards setting up the kindergarten, providing enough bedding for Nap time!