March 20, 2018
One of the areas of Mennonite Centre assistance has been in education. Over the years the Centre has purchased computers, classroom and sports equipment, and helped pay for various building repairs. We have now had opportunity to visit several schools and are becoming aware of significant progressive educational reforms.
Grade one has already been shifted to the regular schools out of the kindergarten facilities, creating space for younger children in the daycare facilities. Beginning with next year’s cohort of grade one students, school curricula will shift from an 11 year program to a 12 year program. Along with that teachers are mandated to shift from a didactic approach to a participatory/investigative and integrated
approach in classroom instruction to tweak students’ interest in learning. Many of these changes are welcomed, particularly by younger teachers, but, not surprisingly, there is also resistance to change. Frequently, government mandated changes require upgrading equipment and learning resources, but the necessary funds are not available.
Our days are often filled with hearing requests for assistance and visiting proposed or completed projects. Frequently we are also privileged to hear expressions of gratitude. This individual walked several kilometers to pick up medications that the Centre had purchased for him and his mother and to personally express his thanks. We remind recipients that their gratitude belongs to many Canadians who have contributed funds. So, “spasiba bolshoi”! (a big thank you from him, and many more, to you!)