Resuming Regular Classes in Fiji

 

The school was used as a shelter after Tropical Cyclone Winston hit Fiji in February.

At the beginning of term two, we were able to move back into the Dawasamu District and therefore recommence a full assistance program at Navunisea District School. The hard work of GVI Community volunteers in the rebuilding of the reading centre has meant Navunisea District School students have an appropriate learning environment to engage in their lessons.

With a team of dedicated volunteers, all classes at Navunisea District School (NDS) are receiving our support. Now working with a full presence at the school, GVI education volunteers have been able to transition from delivering PE, Music and Art and Craft lessons to now carrying out full literacy and phonetic support to classes alongside fostering students’ creativity with PEMAC lessons.

Literacy Program back in full swing

Using reading results taken at the start of the last term, GVI placed students into literacy groups with peers who have similar learning goals. With a heavy need for comprehension and reading support, literacy and phonics have become a large portion of GVI volunteer’s roles at NDS. Groups are seen for tailored literacy lessons two to four times per week depending on the needs of the students. Students who presented with mechanical reading difficulties during testing have also been receiving additional phonics tuitions to assist them in this area.

GVI volunteers have shown incredible passion and creativity to deliver interactive, engaging lessons with very limited resources as GVI continues to build up a base level of reading resources, replacing the extensive resources lost in Cyclone Winston. The students of NDS have shown they have not lost their willingness to learn and have thrived on the routine these sessions have added to their week.

The effect of the cyclone

Having been through their own personal trials in the recent months after the cyclone, teachers at NDS have had a mammoth task in restarting formal, routine education for the students in a very damaged environment. The support GVI volunteers have been able to offer classroom teachers in this big step is something that has been very challenging but something all volunteers have tackled with extreme energy and passion. The PEMAC lessons that have been consistently delivered have not only taught the students new skills but have been a big source of happiness and excitement for the students which has been a pleasure for teachers and parents to see in the school. Again with very limited resources, GVI volunteers have shown great innovation in delivering high quality, interactive lessons, for example using recycled food tins for students to design, decorate and use their own musical instruments. While there is still a long way to go, these lessons have been an important step in providing students with an outlet to express themselves and encouraging teamwork to achieve goals.

Currently, we are assisting Dawasamu District School advocate their need for further teaching spaces in the wake of Cyclone Winston. With many of the school buildings being used to house teachers, GVI has been unable to recommence working with the school. Going forward Education volunteers will begin delivering PEMAC lessons with the students, before continuing literacy and phonetic support when a base is able to be established on the school grounds.

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