Opiskelemassa jälleen…:)


Kun valmistuin viime keväänä kasvatustieteen maisteriksi, ajattelin, että nyt tämä täti pitää vähän pidemmän breikin opiskelussa… mutta äkkiä se ikuisen oppijan luonto veti takaisin, nyt HAMKiin, opettajan pedagogista pätevyyttä hommaamaan. – Syynä mm. se, että työmarkkinoilla tämä pätevyys on todella tarpeellinen. Muutamia kouluttajakollegoitani osallistui myös Digisuuntautuneeseen ryhmään ja heidän työskentelynsä näkyi vahvasti myös somessa. Minä päädyin kuitenkin “verkkoryhmään”, koska lähipäiviä olisi jäänyt liikaa töiden takia pois. – 20.9. nimittäin kutsuu taas Tansanian Arusha, ja siellä sama projekti, Arusha, kuule!

Lätkäisen tässä kaksi kärpästä (tsetse?) yhdellä iskulla ja pidän samassa blogissa sekä “matkapäiväkirjaa”, että oppimispäiväkirjaa… olen nimittäin vakuuttunut, että oppiminen jatkuu, vaikka HAMKin opetussuunnitelma kuulosti hyvinkin tutulta aluksi. Tein viikko sitten osaamiskartoituksen, ja siellä olikin lukuisia kohtia asteikolla 1-5, jossa uskalsin laittaa vain varovaisen kolmosen… aiheet liittyivät lähinnä opettajan työn hallinnollisiin puoliin ja lakipykäliin, mutta myös erilaisten oppijoiden huomioimiseen ja uusiin metelmiin. Myös verkostoituminen ja aivan ihanan opintopiirin kanssa työskentely kiehtoo! – Ja mikä parasta, työni Arushassa kelpaa ekaksi harjoitteluksi! Mahtava syksy tulossa! 🙂

Export and Import – education and other products


I have followed – and also participated in – the efforts to export the famous Finnish education system and products in many levels, from the strategies to  grassroots level. We have faced many problems, but made also some success stories!

To me the latest success story is Arusha, hear! -project in Tanzania. Not maybe in an economical perspective, but the results in teacher’s and pupil’s learning and attitudes are remarkable! There is so much more hope in the deaf pupil’s future, they have better work and further studying opportunities. One example is Ewald, a former Meru Primary Deaf Unit student.He is studying in Arusha Technical College at the moment, and doing his Diploma in ICT studies. There are also changes is the decision maker level, the Arusha hear! -project is a model to implement in other cities and countries, too!

My colleaques Eva Forssén and Antti Komulainen are in Arusha at the moment, and they took many kinds of ICT equipment in their suitcases to Meru Primary. We had an idea, that why bring back almost empty suitcases? – Why not bring some Tanzanian products to Finland? Tanzanian handicraft, clothes and accessories are so beautiful! For example the young Maasai girls could get work opportunities making these products and earn some own money and this way avoid marrying too young – and get a chance to go to school! This is a non-profit idea in small scale. The prices of the products go the makers and include a small donation to the Arusha hear! -project.

You will hear more of  this new idea soon!






The time has flown… and new ideas


Friday 4th Dec was my last day at Meru Primary School Deaf Unit. I could not believe it! It felt like I had just arrived…  I had felt like home immediately! The latest weeks I had been working mainly with Bertha, the wonderful teacher trainer, because teachers had been busy with the National Exams.

We learned a lot together with Bertha, visiting each others houses and of course at school: Peer tutoring, intelligent networks, transactive memory and gatekeepers… video, Kahoot, Book Creator, inquiry learning, individual learning…  tools, models and methods to support learning! Bertha made also a beautiful video of Meru Primary, it will soon be published and I will share it with you all!

Friday morning we had a serious discussion about the traffic in Arusha. Cars, pedestrians, daladalas (small buses), bodabodas (motorbike taxes), bikes, big buses, dogs, sometimes other animals…. going like crazy! – And Arusha used to be a small town a while ago. Many pedestrians can not estimate, if they have time to pass the street, before the car comes. I have seen so many “almost” hits and crashes. – And yesterday it happened to someone I know. A car hit a pedestrian, who had collapsed first. So sad. Some broken bones, but the pedestrian will be ok. It is still a terrible feeling to the driver too, even if it’s not driver’s fault!

So, one very important thing to teach to the kids also in Arusha, would be How to survive in traffic? I found some nice learning materials and videos online. Bertha will encourage the teachers to use them next year, when Christmas holidays are over!

We hade a nice lunch (maybe the best grilled chicken ever?) with the teachers at the school ending day. The teachers have soooo earned their Christmas holidays! I was happy see them relaxed and making holiday plans. Many of them said they will stay at home and expect to see a lot of relatives visiting… just like in Finland!

We had a wonderful holiday in Tanzania: my family and friends arrived Dec 5th, and Dec 6th we had a big Finnish Independence Day party with 30 guests and good food and traditional African dancing and beautiful singing… and the next day we went to a safari: Serengeti, Ngorongoro crater and lake Manyara! An Experience of a Lifetime! Saw the BIG5!! So grateful!


I left a big piece of my heart in Tanzania, and decided to go back next year! 🙂




National Exams and learning with Bertha


Last weeks have been different from normal routines, students have been stressing and participating in National Exams. There has been a lot of criticizing news even in Finland about the poor situation in developing countries with national exams. E.g. in Tanzania around 65% of students fail in the tests in Secundary level. That determines the destiny of many students. No continuing to Upper Secondary and University. I hope that the situation is not that bad in Meru Primary! – And if it is, we are able to tackle it with this project!

Here is a picture of a tradition: the students are scrubbing and washing their desks thoroughly to get rid of every text or mark that has been written on them! No cheating! 🙂


An other wonderful thing has happened: Bertha is back! It has been a great pleasure to get to know this beautiful and bright teacher trainer! We have been discussing many pedagocical issues together with Timo, Bertha and John. Yesterday I had Bertha as a guest in my apartment and we sat many hours at the terrace drinking tea and learning about peer support and intelligent networks at school community. There is already lots of peer support in Meru Primary, but we might be able to increase it and make it more systematic, and set some goals to the professional development together with the teachers.

Makumira University seminar


I have had a great pleasure to meet and get to know my Finnish colleaque Timo Oksanen, a Headmaster from Karjaa school. He is writing his Ph.D. Thesis Article and visiting also schools and universities here in Arusha.

Last Saturday we had  a seminar in Tumaini University Makumira about Special Education. Timo’s part was about how we organize and do it in Finland, my part was “case Meru Primary School”. The university teachers were very interested and even moved about the things we could share with them. I showed to them also a video I made from our visit to Jaffery Academy Special Educaton Unit in Arusha last Tuesday. That visit really impressed me! The Headmaster Swaleha was such a good leader and Primus Motor of keeping up the “We are together” -spirit! 🙂

Here is the published video, please watch and share! And like! 🙂

Today I had a special pleasure to meet Bertha, a very bright young lady, who is training the teachers here in Meru Primary Deaf Unit, and is now back in busines after a short brake! Together we can do so much more! I am so happy and things are really progressing here in MPS! 🙂

New steps taken!


Friday the 13th was a very productive day for us at Meru Primary school. I did not even have time to look at news online, so I found out about the terrible attacks in Paris just later. – Maybe that was good for me, I was just so happy with the teacher’s progress. Had a couple of hours delay before the sorrow…

Teacher Msuya shared her class blog to all of you! Msuya is at first practicing with her blog, then she will let her pupils send postings to the blog in turns. Here is the address to Msuya’s blog:


Teacher Reheema is continuing the Environmet project with her pupils. They took a lot of pictures of the school yard and the environmental problems they found and tomorrow they are making videos and editing them together! I am so proud of that! Maybe soon I will be able to share some of the videos to you! In the meantime, I can share a very special video that was made here just before I arrived. It tells about a little girl’s life in Arusha. So beautiful! 🙂

Lots of customers!


I feel like home here in Arusha! I enjoy being at the school, with all the wonderful teachers and learners! I arrive before 8 in the morning and leave at 4.30 or later, so the days for school staff are longer here, than in Finland! I am tired, when we drive home with John. It is a GOOD FEELING, I have done a lot of training, thinking and discussing and hopefully been useful! 🙂

Today we had a learning session with all the Meru Primary Deaf Unit teachers. We learned about collaborative writing with GoogleDoc and Padlet, found English Grammar excercices and last, but not least: I put a CHALLENGE to the teachers. They will try some ICT app or tool or method with their learners. We are going to use at least KAHOOT, blogs, English excercices and videos. I can’t wait to see the outcome and feedback.

Learning with the teachers 🙂20151111_114417