In January 2020, all our Montessori partner schools in Haiti opened, and our Foundation provided Montessori didactical materials and workbooks to those schools that needed them. Unfortunately, in April schools were again closed due to COVID and a volatile political climate. Schools reopened in November 2020 and we were able to pay technical support visits to 5 of our partner schools. We are hoping this number will increase to the normal amount post COVID.
Our Montessori partner schools in Ivory Coast and Senegal functioned for the greater part of the school year. In January a technical support visit was made to Senegal. A workshop on the Montessori environment as well as meetings to organize future teacher training were conducted. Unfortunately, COVID changed our plans of physically travelling to Senegal for further meetings. We however worked online with the teachers, to improve their teaching skills via WhatsApp and Facebook and made a teaching video.
Plans to open the first Montessori school in October in Mali could not be realized this year as planned because of COVID and the Coup d’état which took place in August 2020. The Foundation trained a Montessori teacher for Mali, and have remained in contact with the teacher through social media. Preparations are being made to open the school in 2021. Books have also been sent ahead to Mali in preparation of the opening.
We met with most of our partner schools via zoom, WhatsApp and Skype to discuss the personal proactive equipment, which helps to prevent the spread of COVID and the precautions to be taken in the schools.
Two language workbooks were produced in 2020, “Le chemin a l’ecriture (1)” ISBN 978-99970-64-41-7 Dépôt légal 20-07-172 and “Le chemin a l’ecriture (2)” ISBN 978- 99970- 64 -42- 4 Dépôt légal 20-07-173 These books will be distributed in our Montessori partner schools in Haiti, as well as in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Mali in 2021. The evaluation log for teachers to track children’s progress “Evaluation des compétences” Dépôt légal 18-10-519. ISBN 978-99970-76-45-8 which was produced in 2019, will also be distributed to schools.
Children in school in Ivory Coast
Workshop in Senegal
Children in classroom in Les Caye, Haiti
Schools receiving Montesssori materials in Liancourt, Haiti
During these challenging and uncertain times, the Peter-Hesse-Foundation is focusing on longer-term capacity building rather than short-term crisis responses. With schools closed, we still continued to work for improving education. We used the time to produce two language workbooks for preschoolers which accompany the Montessori language materials. We encourage all our partner schools to look to the future as we at the foundation are looking forward to working again with all our partners in Haiti, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal.
The budding Montessori community in the region of Abengourou, Ivory Coast has grown from a single school with 20 children to four schools and additionally trained teachers with over 300 children.
The foundation funded the first Montessori school in Abengourou in 2008, with the goal of empowering cocoa growing households to increase educational opportunities, while reducing the prevalence of child labour on cocoa plantations. The Foundation started training Montessori teachers and opened a Montessori preschool with 20 children where teachers could gain practical experience. Today the model school has grown from 20 children to several new promotions of qualified teachers, and three other schools opened by graduates have also increased their teacher and student numbers. The Montessori community in this region now boasts over 300 children from this growing network of schools. This initiative provides educational opportunities for these children that did not exist before. Our goal is to increase the number of trained Montessori teachers to continue to keep up the international standard of instruction.