What is a Learning Community?
The WHAT is a learning community? An attempt to give some mind rendering but again simplistic and provoking potions and thoughts to response to the WHAT question(s).
A community where everyone knows each other and cares about one another; where every parent will take ownership and responsibility of their children learning – they used wake us up at 4am to for Dara lessons. A community where every brother and a sister helps their siblings with their lessons – at the family level, the elder brother is keenly helping and couching with reading and writing skills.
A learning community where a member of the community irrespective of his or her relationship acts as a monitor or an inspector. For example, where a stranger is aware of the learning timetable. A stranger had reported is to our parents because we skipped quranic lessons. (You can run away from lessons but you cannot hide). Other community members will not condone such behaviors.
A learning community where every household is a guardian for a visiting learner – there were many students from other villages across the region that came and stayed for years. Similar to what is punctuating and coloring the current attendance register in the present day school. It is not safe nowadays to say that the common surnames are the bahs, sowes, jallows, and Jobes anymore.
A community where working for the head of the Dara was seen an obligatory responsibility. Wednesday used to be the day we work for the head of the dara. Where the male-child will even pound cereals, cook and joyfully performs domestic work predominantly carried out by the girl-child. All in the name of learning and seeking knowledge.
A Community where the flames of the Dara was the light in the darkness. The fuel wood was a source of energy for the elderly and weak-ones as well as the source of power – the Fire used to burn for 24/7.
A community where graduation ceremony is more colorful than marriage ceremonies.
A community where it’s hard and not possible to see any walks of life that is not linked to impact positively the dara Education. Hence it is safe to say everyone was participating;
Everyone was a learner
Everyone was a tutor
Everyone was a monitor
Everyone was a mentor,
Everyone was advocate
Everyone was a evaluator
Everyone was a teacher
Everyone was a financier
The role of the community as a whole has not been exerted yet in the current schooling and learning. This is why the community DNA is learning, so the challenge is to orientate it’s role to impact the learning.
To be continued