8.2 Organising awareness campaigns
To convince parents that the school is for all children and that all children can learn together in the same environment, this may require creativity from teachers.
Case study 17: Ms Sajiv organises a show with her class
Ms Sajiv knew that in the neighbourhood of her school in Grand-Gaube, Mauritius, there were several children of school age but, for various reasons, they did not attend. She chatted with her colleagues about this and together they decided to set up a project and organise an event in collaboration with the community. Through this project, the community would be actively involved and hence would come to school to witness what pupils knew and could do.
Ms Sajiv looked through the TESSA Resources to find ideas that would help the teacher team to organise the event. In the primary subject resources, she selected Literacy, Module 2, Section 2, Case study 2, Life Skills, Module 1, Section 5, Case study 3. She felt Social Sciences and the Arts, Module 3, Section 3, Case studies and Activities 2 and 3 particularly useful and decided to follow this step by step with her Form IV. She decided to ask Sonna if she could provide the music for the dance show on her drum. Sonna was extremely surprised: What? Her? In her wheelchair? Be in a show with her classmates? After much hesitation, and a lot of encouragement from Ms Sajiv and her classmates, Sonna accepted, and the children began rehearsing.
Ms Sajiv also asked her pupils if there were relatives who could help to make the costumes and the set. Parents who had sewing machines volunteered for this work, and the local carpenter did help to make and paint the set with the help of the children after school.
Meanwhile, during their French lessons, pupils from Mr Benoit’s Form III class worked on how posters could be designed to attract passers-by. They produced the posters on Ms Sajiv’s class show and one evening after school, accompanied by their teacher, they went in groups to put their posters in the vicinity of the school inviting the local neighbourhood to come and watch the CM1 class dancing show.
Pupils in the CM2 class, together with their teacher, decided it would be important to invite the mayor and the town councillors and the president of the pupil mothers’ association. So, they prepared letters of invitation and went to deliver them personally. They also decided to inform the local newspaper and ask if a reporter and a photographer could attend the show.
The great day arrived. All children and teachers were nervous, but everything went well. Sonna drummed away as the dancers danced away. They all received a standing ovation.
And the next day, all the children gathered around Sonna had their picture on the first page of the local newspaper, in front of the set they had built and in the costumes the community had created for them.
Activity 38: Other ideas for awareness campaigns
This activity will allow teachers to bring awareness to the work done in their school.
- Read Case study 17 above, which shows how Ms Sajiv’s school organised itself to sensitise the community to the work of the school.
- As you read the case study, make a list of all activities undertaken by the school to reach the community, and for each activity, write why and how it raised the community’s awareness.
- Add other ideas that you have on this subject. For more inspiration, you can also read the TESSA resources that Ms Sajiv consulted to generate ideas.