(Vocational) school partnership
A dream comes true
Herman-Nohl-Schule vocational school in Hildesheim, Germany and
the Montessori Teacher Training Center in Moshi, Tanzania
Once upon a time there were 10 students and two teachers who travelled to a distant land to find new friends and to learn with and from them.
What at first may sound like a fairy tale has become a reality for vocational students, teachers and school administrators from Hildesheim in Germany and Moshi in Tanzania. In 2019, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the partnership between the Herman- Nohl-Schule, Germany, which focuses on vocational education in healthcare and the social sector, and the Montessori Teacher Training Center in. Despite initial doubts as to whether there were many similarities between Germany and Tanzania, it soon became clear that early childhood and intercultural education are of great importance in both countries. Through work on joint projects, the participants learn to adopt a one-world mindset, to learn with and from each other and to become critical of racism.
During a visit of students and teachers from Hildesheim to Tanzania and a visit of students from Moshi to Germany the following year, the participants worked on common values such as friendship, solidarity and diversity using various European and Tanzanian children’s books. The participants continued to develop these common values through cultural forms of expression such as (table) theatre and music for kindergarten and school children, which they then presented in both countries. In response, the Tanzanian students wrote down stories that are traditionally passed down orally from generation to generation. In addition, the groups also jointly created their own stories incorporating both Tanzanian and German influences. These stories were then translated into English (as the common language), as well as into Kiswahili and German, and the children illustrated them with their own drawings. The result is a trilingual children’s book entitled “One World Stories – Hadithi Katika Dunia Moja – Eine Welt Geschichten”, which has even been published.
During four additional encounters, the participants worked on topics such as children’s games from both countries, diversity and inclusion and early childhood environmental education, including the development of games and toys. During the last encounter in Germany in 2019, students from Moshi and Hildesheim were divided into project groups and worked on the topic “Water is a human right!” for two weeks. Among other things, this resulted in a show featuring the song “Water Water”, which they presented together at the end of One World Week in Hildesheim.*
As a result of the many years of cooperation based on trust and the various projects that have been developed, the partnership has succeeded at promoting global learning – both in teacher training and in early childhood education – and laid the foundation for a multicultural and inclusive society.
Mit dem Austauschprogramm, das wir bisher zwischen den Schüler*innen und Lehrkräften von beiden Seiten durchgeführt haben, haben wir uns gegenseitig pädagogisch, gesellschaftlich, kulturell und geistig bereichert. Tatsächlich haben sich die Einstellungen und Denkweisen der Schüler*innen völlig verändert, was zu besseren und stärkeren Beziehungen geführt hat. Wir möchten dieses Partnerschaftsprogramm fortsetzen und werden immer wieder Mittel und Wege finden, um es zu festigen. Das Programm hat unsere Schüler*innen in vielerlei Hinsicht bereichert und ihnen die Möglichkeit gegeben, zu reisen, andere Menschen zu treffen und andere, neue Orte kennenzulernen.
Schulleiterin des Montessori Teacher Training Center in Moshi