Like every Thursday, we held the Advanced YAN class from 3-5. I always have to arrive early so that I can pick up the key before the computer lab teacher leaves and locks up. So I arrived at about 2:30pm and just reviewed the lesson for the day.

Soon  3:00pm arrived and I was ready to teach. Then 3:15pm. Finally one student, David, showed up by 3:30pm! He said that all the other were taking a test. This is something I still struggle to understand: School ends at 2:40pm yet, if and when a teacher wants, he/she can keep their students for as long as they want. "African Time" or "Black Man Time" is what David attributed this situation to. He assured me that, “Madame, they will
come. After they finish, they will come!”. So I started the lesson just me and him. We first discussed YAN and what it meant to him, what he thought YAN to be. I asked him to sit for a moment and think - "What would you tell your family or friends if they asked you 'what is YAN?' " I could tell he was giving some serious thought to his answer, it was a challenging question too.

Finally, he stood and said, "Madam, Youth Advocacy is a group of people that come together to find out a problem at a particular place. YAN is an organization that teaches people on computer and how to use it and how to browse the net. YAN is a group that comes together to find solutions to a particular problem at a particular place."

After we reviewed for a short while on how to conduct web based research, I gave him a research worksheet focusing on YAN, Social Justice and Advocacy. The purpose of this week’s lesson was to review web-based research (the search engines, how to search for specific things, where to find good information, what sort of things to write down, etc) and to learn about those three topics. By 4:20pm another five students had came to class explaining that they were taking a test. I caught them up on the lesson, and they also began their research. Because these students are more savvy with computers, I find them wandering to other websites more often than the Club class. Thankfully, there were only six students on five computers so they were quite easy to monitor.

After everyone finished their research, I had each of them read off 2-3 things they learned about each topic. Then, they came to the whiteboard to write their research topic and, if applicable, their groups member(s).


Lycee Molyko Advanced YAN Research Topics:

Jean Patient

Nature Conservation
Deril Agwe-Tang

Balemba Bekamaka
Abunaw David

Agbor Desmond Tabe
Henry Ekema

We ended up staying until about 5:30pm so that students could complete the entire lesson. At the very end of class, all students were all crowded around one computer playing a game. I was still picking things up, cleaning the white board, etc so I had no problem with this. I told them once all the computers were shut down they would have to shut down that one and we would leave. As I was shutting down one students computer, I saw that he had his Facebook page up and that a chat was open. I couldn't help but laugh at what the chat had read:
Person: petit na how? [English = How are you? Petit is used for anyone younger than you that you are close with.]
My Student: a no fit talk na, madam di monitor sotey. [English= I cant talk right now, Madam is watching us very closely.]
I called him over to show him, we both shared a bit of a laugh, but I warned him about browsing on the internet during class. I made it clear to them that if we finished the lesson early and there was no other work to finish, they could browse for 10-15min but only IF and when everything is complete.

We will meet again next week on Thursday and begin working on their website. The students and I are hoping that their research moves so quickly that by the end of the year, their final projects can be some sort of community sensitization.