The school partnership program between Ecole Primaire Bilingue CEBEC/EEC Alfred Saker Deïdo Douala and Zion Education Center Anglican Primary School Muhanga came up during a coffee break conversation between Marcel Sebahire from Rwanda and Makarios Fandio from Cameroon at a United Evangelical Mission (UEM) meeting in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania, in 2020. Marcel and Makarios, delegates from their churches, were meeting for the first time and found that they were both involved in education. They both believed in small beginnings and immediate action, and so the idea of creating a school partnership was born, with the main strategy being to connect pupils and teachers virtually with no financial cost. As soon as they returned to their respective countries, the project was presented to the staff and pupils of the selected schools, who immediately embraced the idea. A Whatsapp group was set up as a means of communication for the staff and pupils of both schools.

The aim of the partnership from the beginning was to improve the quality of education through a virtual learning community. Pupils were intrigued by the idea and started exchanging letters because they were keen to learn about each other, their different learning environment and their countries. Videos and pictures of school activities were also exchanged. The morning assembly of pupils of Muhanga in the form of a circle inspired Alfred Saker CEBEC/EEC Bilingual Primary School to replace the frontal pattern with a circular pattern, which is more friendly and promotes a good school climate. The Anglican Zion Primary School in Muhanga was also impressed by the Douala pupils’ school garden project. In October 2021, a virtual class session was organised where pupils from both schools could “see” each other, discuss and exchange ideas.

On October 12, 2022, Mr.Makarios had the opportunity to visit the partner school in Muhanga with two of his Cameroonian colleagues. It was a great time with the teachers and students. During the short stay at the school in Muhanga, class visits, a meeting with the teaching staff and a basketball game took place.

Marcel Sebahire

Head of Education and youth department in EAR Shyogwe Diocese

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