By Rana Gaber
“I am here because I believe that the Values Curriculum is a strong one, yet, for the students to understand and embody these values they need to be engaged in the learning process and arts is the best methodology, so I need to learn about artification,” Ahmed Ali, a teacher from a primary school in Qena said, when Ambassadors for Dialogue organized a workshop there.
The six values that are taught to pupils in third grade are love, compassion, respect, honesty, proficiency, and perseverance. When taught only theoretically, it’s a challenge for the pupils to engage. This is why Ambassadors for Dialogue asked the two community-based initiatives Takhta and Mortagal to support a group of teachers in Qena to design lessons using artistic methods like story-telling and theatre.
Takhta is an educational initiative from Qena focused on improving the learning environment for both students and teachers in public schools, and Mortagal is a company mainly focused on using visual and performing arts for human development.
“The curriculum is rather rigid and difficult so I am very keen on learning how to make it interesting and engaging so that the pupils actually enjoy the learning process,” Sanaa Mostafa, a teacher from a primary school in Qena
Meanwhile, before the pupils can enjoy learning, the teachers must themselves enjoy teaching. Takhta and Mortagal thus used their expertise and passion to build up a training-program for public school teachers on different art techniques such as storytelling, object theatre, and Commedia Dell’arte, and also how to develop art-based activities.
In October and November 2021, 22 school teachers from different public schools in Qena Governorate in Upper Egypt joined a first workshop and were trained on the different art techniques. The training was meant to equip the teachers with tools and techniques.
During a second workshop, the teachers were able to design 12 lessons using the various methods they had learned – and testing to a successful result, the teachers were having great fun during the workshop! They also conducted the 12 lessons while being filmed. The lessons have been uploaded on Youtube and are now in the process of being disseminated to other schools as well as to the Ministry of Education.
All the participants showed interest in transmitting what they learned to their colleagues and to the administration of their schools. As for the next steps, the two initiatives, Takhta and Mortagal, also committed themselves to continue the conversation with the Ministry of Education on how to mainstream the artification process of school curricula of other subjects. They are also looking in to ways of repeating the training of more teachers.
Watch the 12 lessons:
The initiatives Takhta and Mortagal were enrolled in the Dialogical Edutainment Academy, 2018. The Academy is a project under Ambassadors for Dialogue Egypt in cooperation with DEDI aiming to build the capacity of community-based initiatives concerning project management and different training methodologies. Since then, both two initiatives were able to develop innovative ideas to engage their communities further.
Read more about the Edutainment Academy
Download The Edutainment Manual I
Download The Edutainment Manual II